Bear Lake are one of those bands that baffle you to learn their from Detroit, ...let alone that they've been crafting their cinematic power-pop ballads amidst our humble, scuffed-out milieu for more than three years now.
I'm not trying to indulge some hackneyed "just goes to show you" angle to make it a testimonial to the breadth of talent pocketed throughout the southeastern corner of the Mitten state... ...(though, I kind of am...)
...It's more so an emphatic huh!...more of a head-scratcher that they're still here and haven't yet been swept up by some private jet that would take them to some brightly lit arena or some other Bonaroo-type trip where they can more effectively turn some indie-pop heads.
Bear Lake seem equally possessed by McCartney as they are by Gibbard, equally blending pared-back piano/acoustic folk jaunts with the arm-raising/eye-closing/lip-synching ingratiation of arena-rock anthems - and equally flexing knacks for charting out ear-worm melodies as they are at dressing their soundscapes with enough atmospheric intrigue so as to squelch the saccharine and give the theatric ardor of the spacey-pedal-howled tones enough room to breath out their star-gazer resonance.
The harmonies are pure and pretty, the tones are meticulously wound to keenly mellifluous timbres such as to achieve that grinning summer-y enchantment. Throw in heartfelt, plaintive lyrics that spill their guts, either delicately or declaratively... and you've got the glistening charm of Bear Lake... a band that's already had their songs snagged by a number of mainstream media outlets like One Tree Hill. Plus, they were just in the studio to sit in for Ann Delisi's Essential Music.
Now, they're releasing their 3rd proper LP, If You Were Me - 5/21 at the Magic Bag in Ferndale - supported by I Love Lightning Bugs + Brae ++ DJ Deep See Soundsystem.
More info here, re: If You Were Me