“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 released their debut full-length album Atlas on June 15th, 2018. The record features songs centred thematically on memory and its tie to specific locations. Over the course of ten tracks, the band pushes their ever-evolving sound with intertwining guitar and horn textures, contemplative lyrics, and irregular time signatures. Throughout 2018, the group supported the album’s release with fifty-three tour dates across Canada. Many songs from the record have been included on playlists and blogs, with “Caves” being featured on the Spotify-curated playlists “Indie All Stars” and “Outliers.” Atlas also received charting success on Canadian campus and community radio stations ranking in the National Top 100 for three consecutive months, topping at number 1 on CJTR (Regina), number 2 on CFCR (Saskatoon), and number 71 nationwide. The album has been streamed over 40,000 times in the first five months since its release. Bears in Hazenmore are currently working on new material set for release in 2019.
Photo: Future.Nostalgia (2018)