Parachuting Bear began as a side project for New York musicians “Dan” and “Mike.” After playing 200 shows in New York City the duo has since gained a loyal following. Since their first gig at NYC’s Dead Poet, the band has played venues such as Bowery Electric, Rockwood Music Hall, Prohibition as well as Sofar Sounds. Right up until Covid, they had a weekly residency at The Gin Millon in the upper west side of Manhattan. Their self-titled album Parachuting Bear was recorded in quarantine with everything done on a Mac using Logic, a simple Focusrite interface and an Sm48. The band wanted to capture “the time we were living in – so the whole record is recorded in our tiny NYC apartments.” Style wise, it’s a mix between folk and classic rock combined with world music influences.
The band states their first track “Till I Let You Go” has Led Zeppelin influence., but I don’t know – I’m hearing old school stuff, but more like ‘70s Heart or a heavier version of Fleetwood Mac, or better yet, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. In any case, the band does have a really unique sound, not to mention, either Dan or Mike has one hell of a tenor/falsetto voice – and I mean that sincerely. Next up is “Tell Me No Lies” – this one had a more Zeppelin-like feel to it. The duo describes the next song “Whoever Brought me Here" as a combination of Moroccan traditional music and Nirvana. In my view, mix together mid-‘60s Beatles(Rubber Soul or Revolver), Page and Plant’s No Quarter, something off the Hair soundtrack and then, bring all of that into the 21st century and you might come close to what these guys are laying down. It was truly mesmerizing – I loved every minute of it.
“Keys to the Kingdom” had a really great beat and melody and the solo part was, just, so, imaginative. Some parts reminded me of Arcade Fire or Keane. The last track is “Burning the Midnight Oil” and parts of it reminded me a bit of the soft, summer beach rock that R.E.M. tried to capture on Reveal – maybe it was the drums and keys. But also, the song’s structure had a familiar tone to it in that it sounded like something from a popular one-hit wonder from the ‘70s. The duo states that it recalls the vocal harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN).
What can I say about this New York duo? Well, they bring new meaning to the word alternative, in my opinion. Parachuting Bear has just got this, finesse, about them. It’s not hard to realize why they have a loyal following. I look forward to their follow up soon.
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