Bear In Heaven @ The Sinclair [Show Review]

Bear In Heaven

By this point in their careers, the sounds that Brooklyn synth-pop trio Bear In Heaven kick around feel like an old friend. At the onset, the group proved an outlier in the electronic set, taking their initial cues not from disco or other dancefloor-bred genres like some of their contemporaries, but rather finding solace in outré styles like prog and drone. After a string of creative, and may we add critically-acclaimed, records, Bear In Heaven proved themselves to be masters of a particularly idiosyncratic form, and that dominance continued on the recently released Time Is Over One Day Old, which pairs their trademark deep synth sound with a more of a nuanced mid-tempo chug than their previous efforts. Their Boston stop at The Sinclair this past Thursday in support of Old saw the band playing up that side of their sound heavily by mixing some of their moodier, slow-burning older tunes along with plenty of newer ones, making for a wholly satisfying show.

In a not-all-that-surprising move Bear In Heaven opened with “Autumn,” the first track on Old, with its throbbing bassline and pounding tom-heavy beat that nearly overtaking frontman Jon Philpot’s high, punctual vocals, it proved to be an apt introduction to a set heavy on textured performance. As previously mentioned, much of the show centered around the vibe of their newest record, which set of older tunes that catered towards the more mid-tempo range of their malleable sound. For continuity’s sake, this played very well in Bear In Heaven’s favor, making for a well-sequenced headlining set. Of course, it also meant that the songs actually off the record largely got most of the attention from both the band and audience, which given the strength of said record, rang perfectly fine by us. Perhaps the largest draw of the night was “If I Were To Lie,” whose almost dub-inflected bassline and snappy, fill-heavy backbeat merged nicely with some impressive synth swells. All together, Bear In Heaven’s set affirmed what Old suggested: their range as an act is unsurprising but entirely impressive.

Fellow New Yorkers Young Magic took the stage before Bear In Heaven, and just as when we last caught them in Boston with Purity Ring, they brought with them plenty of tunes from their debut LP Melt. Now touring with a live drummer as well as a new record in the recently issued Breathing Statues, the band’s captivatingly sparse live show continues to impress us. They seem to be on the cusp of being a headlining draw by themselves, as the response from the ever-growing crowd illuminated throughout their set.

Moody synth-pop duo Weeknight opened.