- Band Management
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- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
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Electro/dance-pop outfit Bearstronaut’s sultry, intoxicating beats and infectious hooks instantly summon images of wild, bonfire-lit Miami beach parties, of sweating blissfully while packed onto the dance floor of an underground Barcelona club at 5 a.m., or maybe making out with a foxy stranger behind some seedy Hollywood dive bar on a hot summer night. Taking modern ’80s-influenced synthpop beyond laptop/bedroom production, Bearstronaut’s electrifying full-band dance-party approach has scored the band shows with Matt and Kim, Chance the Rapper, Passion Pit, St. Lucia, Best Coast, !!!, Surfer Blood, Major Lazer, Solange, Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, Local Natives, Bat For Lashes and more.▼ Article continues below ▼
Recorded over a span of two years at locations from their hometown of Boston to NYC’s Converse Rubber Tracks studio to the beaches of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bearstronaut’s debut LP Telecoast (out now) is a labor of wanderlust, subtle experimentation and aural romanticism. The record sails blissfully from indie-disco bangers a la MGMT or The Weeknd to sexxed-up, pop-savvy Timberlake-style electro-pop crooning.
“We wanted big sing-along choruses over light, airy soundscapes,” says singer/guitarist Dave Martineau. “The sound is pretty much modern dance music in a rock-band context. It’s very song oriented, played as a mix of studio tech and live feel. Even though we use a lot of electronics, there’s definitely a very human element to it.”
Bearstronaut recently beat out 8,000 other bands for first place in the Guitar Center & Converse Get Out of the Garage contest, which scored them crucial studio time at Rubber Tracks, where they worked with Jason Finkel (LL Cool J, Gwen Stefani, Cyndi Lauper), no stranger to the vintage ‘80s sounds they mine for inspiration. In fact, Telecoast does such a mind-blowing job of channeling the ‘80s-movie-soundtrack zeitgeist that you’ll spend your first few listens wondering what songs Bearstronaut is aping, until you finally give up and realize they’re just that good at loading these vintage sounds into a flux-capacitor-powered Dolorean and blasting them across time straight into the now.
At Rubber Tracks, the band built on a foundation of the earlier album sessions, adding overdubs and re-recording digital parts with live instruments, honing and polishing their sound until Telecoast emerged. Bearstronaut writes songs built around both fictional characters and real life tales—like Elvis Presley winding up in a card game that ends in a Mexican standoff.
“We’re not afraid to get sleazy or cheesy in a Steve Winwood, Barry Manilow kind of way,” says guitarist/synth player Paul Lamontagne. “That said, we really wanted to get into a Roxy Music / Bowie / Bobby Womack frame of mind with these songs.”
The band consists of Martineau and Lamontagne, as well as Nate Marsden (bass, guitar) and Phil Boisvert (drums, vocals). They formed in college, cut their teeth playing rowdy basement shows, and have since worked their way up to bigger venues and festivals. Looking ahead, Bearstronaut are currently finishing up the final touches on the music video for “Curaçao,” are slated to perform this summer on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and are gearing up for a post-release tour.
“Telecoast,” declares Martineau, “is the album that says what we’ve been trying to say for a long time.”