Yes In My Backyard: Download Bear In Heaven’s “Wholehearted Mess”


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Brooklyn’s Bear In Heaven have evolved from a spaced-out, fuzzy psych mess to a spaced-out, fuzzy dance band. They’ve kept their soaring choruses and This Heat noise smackery intact, but now the whole thing has the pulse of ’80s new wave and ’00s nu-rave, a mix of synthy hypnosis and teeth-baring heavy metal drumming. Second album Beast Rest Forth Mouth is as huge and cinematic as space-punk gets, occasionally sounding like a basement-show version of INXS. First single “Wholehearted Mess” is right at that boing-boinging pogo-boogie point where Joy Division turned into New Order; the nasal, minor-key pre-chorus is more Erasure than anything; and the pitch up key-change is a classic pop trick that loses no steam after being on the 3,000th record you’ve heard it on. To promote Beast Rest Forth Mouth, Bear In Heaven is releasing “Wholehearted Mess” as a gorgeous orange-and-black 12-inch slab of vinyl, complete with remixes by Pink Skull, Max Brannslokker ,and Arclike. It’s due September 29.

Bear In Heaven’s Jon Philpot on “Wholehearted Mess”

What is this song about?

It’s about a messed-up mom and her kid. They love each other, but they can’t seem to get a break in this life. Circumstance made their car overheat and they’re stranded on the highway. She wants to walk for help but the kid wants things to be not broken. So the kid decides to stay and she sings him a song to convince him things will be better. Then she asks the world for help–gives up and walks away. At times, I think we all feel like the Mom…I think we feel like the kid and maybe the car too.

What inspired you to write it?

After we recorded our last record we were playing around town a lot. More often than not we just got blank stares from the crowds, so we decided to write something that got the people moving. Lyrically, I have to point my finger at the econopocalypse. Finding work is weird these days. I feel like I’m standing near quicksand or a land mine at all times. Or like I’m trying to pay for my first car all over again. It was a navy blue piece of crap Chrysler LeBaron that always overheated. That thing took over my life.

How did you get that boinging sound at the beginning?

That boinging at the beginning of the song is the amazing Adam Wills on a slightly out-of-tune guitar. Pretty sweet. Right?

What do you like to dance to?

Sweet boogie jams are my favorite. Put on Mendocino by Sir Douglas Quintet and I’m good to go.

Where do you dance?

I like dancing close to my lady, Emily. Also, I’ve heard Legion Bar is going off these days.

What’s your most memorable New York show?

We played in the back of the old Galapagos and people started throwing stuff at us…like pint glasses. We cleared the house that night.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

Abistro in Fort Greene. It’s worth waiting for a table.

Download: [audio-1]