ACL Music Fest Saturday Interview

Pillwave meets Ameropean trancehall

ACL Music Fest Saturday Interview

Bear in Heaven

1:30pm, Zync Card stage

"An odd thing just happened. I was standing outside my friend Dan's and a car drove by playing one of our songs. Kind of blew my mind!"

Bear in Heaven singer Jon Philpot's adventures in synchronicity are no doubt happening a lot more these days. Across two assonant LPs for Portland, Ore., label Hometapes – 2007's Red Bloom of the Boom and last year's Beast Rest Forth Mouth – the Brooklyn trio has reached more accessible heights. Bloom was abrasive and raw, filled with the flora and fauna of drone and prog, while Beast channels those impulses into a more cohesive, melodic electronic sound.

"There's been a shift," agrees Philpot, who started Bear in Heaven as a solo project. "We made a record that people connect with. The shift wasn't a conscious decision. We wanted to make music for us and other people. Historically, we only made music for ourselves."

Beast was just re-released as an expanded two-disc album, featuring remixes by the Field, High Places, Matthew Dear, and Justin K. Broadrick of Jesu, among others. The reinterpretations add another layer to the trio's glacial, stratified pop, namely Twin Shadow's heavy-lidded New Wave nod to album standout "Lovesick Teenagers."

Speaking of which, with the cringe-inducing "chillwave" genre currently being tacked on to any band with a synth, Philpot tried to come up with more suitable labels for their sound:

"Thrillwave, spillwave, or maybe pillwave? Ameropean trancehall. Puka shell techno."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bear in Heaven

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle