Those who are already well aware of Bearcubs will know that he’s a really talented producer. He’s got a knack for creating songs that flow incredibly well, with every note feeling like it was just meant to be there. There’s an effortlessness to his production and you really hear that effortlessness on Bearcubs’ latest album ‘Weather Report’.
Every track on the album feels comfortable and easy, like music was always meant to be played this way. It’s hard to create music that feels this organic, but Bearcubs did it, and he did it so well.
‘Raindrops’ is the perfect song to introduce ‘Weather Report’, purely because it’s quintessential Bearcubs. A sample of an actual weather report hovering over soothing atmospherics and wobbling synths opens the track and feels on the nose in the best way possible. The beat then dives in and gives this airy vibe a bit more structure, while bear cubs’ vocals float amongst each note so calmly. What really gives ‘Raindrops’ an extra bit of oomph are the scattered guitar licks that add a bit of texture to the melody. It’s a lovely track and a gorgeous opener.
‘Fortune Cookie’ is another light track with playful notes that warp themselves around twinkling samples and popping percussion. Light guitar twangs give this track a bit more of an edge, but it’s really fun to listen to. This is the kind of song that puts a smile on your face when you’re just laying in the sun. It doesn’t have to do a lot, but it’s just an overall sense of cheekiness that lifts your spirits.
‘Everyday’ features another beautiful layer of atmospherics beneath a vocal sample. This track feels more eerie than the others; instead of being surrounded by clouds it’s surrounded by smoke and shadow. The vocals circle around the light beat and snapping percussion, with everything feeling just very cyclical. It’s as if you’re being taken on a journey with someone having a real Groundhog Day moment in a very dream-like state.
Then we move to ‘Late Summer’ where warped synths swirl around beautifully intricate guitars. It feels almost ethereal, like dappled light dancing on top of rippling water. The beat comes in to ground the melody, but doesn’t hold it down so much that it loses its mystical nature. It still feels magical, even with the beat and hollow percussion entering the mix as well.
‘Intermission’ is a sweet track with beautiful woodwind sounds that have a very vintage feeling about them. It feels like the Alice In Wonderland opening credits circa 1950, with the addition of buzzing atmospherics and chimes blowing through high vocal harmonies and chirping synths. It’s a sweet and almost innocent track that then brings us into ‘ICYICY’.
The percussion on ‘ICYICY’ is a lot of fun. The drums bounce alongside stretched synths, shimmering atmospherics and smooth vocals that twinkle all together. It’s like a sun shower, the rain trickles lightly onto the grass with the sun still providing some sort of warmth to something that should really be cold. The percussion acts as the rain in this instance, with the vocals and atmospherics playing the part of the sun. It just paints a really nice picture in your mind and is gorgeous to hear.
When ‘Slow Down’ begins, wave-like atmospherics slowly roll in before chopped synths stomp in with a spalling beat trailing close behind. This track feels heavier, like there’s something dragging alongside the airy elements and is probably the most grounded track on ‘Weather Report’. The vocals are caressed by sliding guitars and pulsating atmospherics give the melody some buoyancy, but not enough to completely lift it to the heights of the other tracks. ‘Slow Down’ is still phenomenal, but it’s got a hardness to it that isn’t particularly present on the other songs.
‘A Cosmic Yes’ brings the lightness back into ‘Weather Report’ with lovely acoustic guitars dancing above the beat, and sharp samples flying across the melody like shooting stars. Chiming synths and a muffled beat bounce happily beneath the vocals and honestly, it’s extremely fun to bop along to.
‘Sippin’ is a great track to bop along to as well, but has more of a psychedelic feel, with heavy drums and swirling guitars swimming around the vocal track. ’Sippin’ is very smooth and rolls along with ease. The drums and guitars flow together really well and the vocals don’t disrupt their chemistry, they simply just float on in and accompany them on their journey. It just feels so sweet and easy, like a smooth cocktail.
‘10C’ features echoing vocals that hover over slow, pulsating synths. It’s a very minimalist track but still works well. It feels dreamy, without being too obvious about it. Light samples crunch their way around the background of the melody. It’s a short, but lovely interlude that then brings you into ‘In The Flowers’.
‘In The Flowers’ is the only collaborative track on ‘Weather Report’ and features vocals from both Bearcubs and THALA, that softly dance atop a padded beat and deep guitars. The guitars have a slight buzz to them, giving the track texture, and like ‘10C’, the track is very minimal. The beat, guitars and vocals are the main elements bringing ‘In The Flowers’ together, and the harmonised sigh is what tops off an overall relaxing track.
It’s next to impossible to really explain what an incredible album ‘weather Report’ is, but you know, someone had to try. This album is so light and airy, with harder tracks that bring you back down to earth for a short period of time, before allowing you to just float back into a lighter headspace. Bearcubs is an incredible producer and ‘Weather Report’ proves it.