“Bears are snackers, man.”— Tom Wilson
(Lee Harvey Osmond, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings)
Bears in Hazenmore are an ambient alternative rock group based out of Regina, Treaty 4 Territory, Saskatchewan. Since their formation in 2014, the band has become known for creating atmospheric soundscapes and their ability to draw audiences in with intimate lyrics and enticing builds. The five-piece ensemble includes extensive use of reverb-saturated guitars, dynamic percussion, and ethereal brass and woodwind textures. They draw strong influences from and comparisons to groups such as City and Colour, Aidan Knight, and Bon Iver.
The five members—Brady Frank (lead vocals/guitar/keys), Dana Rempel (bass/sax), Darnell Stewart (guitar), Tanner Wilhelm Hale (drums/vocals), and Dalton Lam (trumpet)—all have their roots in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The group released their debut Bears in Hazenmore EP in March 2014. The songs “Winter Air” and “These Northern Mountains” gained national recognition through CBC Music contests Rock Your Campus (2014 National Top 10) and Searchlight (2015 Provincial Top 10) respectively. The band released their second EP Airwaves in August 2015 and have toured across Canada extensively since then.
After working together at a summer music camp in 2016, the group began an ongoing collaboration with Saskatchewan-based singer-songwriter Megan Nash. Bears arranges full-band parts for Nash’s music and performs as her backing band. The collective has toured throughout Canada, including spots at Gateway Festival in Bengough, Saskatchewan, Folk On The Rocks in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and Halifax Pop Explosion in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their worked together yielded Nash’s acclaimed album Seeker in September 2017.
Bears in Hazenmore’s upcoming full-length album Atlas was recorded in Regina in Spring 2017 with Justin Bender at Blue Door Recording, mixed and mastered by Rob Morrison at RMS-LABS. The record features ten songs centred thematically on memory and its tie to specific locations. The band pushes their ever-evolving sound with intertwining guitar and horn textures, contemplative lyrics, and irregular time signatures. Atlas was released on June 15th, 2018, and the group supported its release with a twenty-three date Canadian tour. Bears in Hazenmore are set to embark on their Star Maps Tour in October 2018, featuring stops in Thunder Bay, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.
“Epic. That’s the first word that comes to mind when listening to this amazing builder of a song [These Northern Mountains] by this indie-folk-soundscape band from Swift Current…. Check ’em out if you like Bon Iver, City and Colour or Great Lake Swimmers”
— Grant Lawrence (CBC Music)
Photo: Future.Nostalgia (2018)