• Review

Album Review: Bear The Moon – Microscopic

Microscopic, the recently released debut EP from Cincinnati band Bear The Moon, encaptivates listeners with its mixed tempos, guitar riffs and solid vocal range. As a musician myself, I was very pleased with how well Microscopic flowed from song to song, keeping me entertained throughout.

“The sound of the EP is mostly shaped from indie rock & alternative genres in general,” said Alex Karshner, vocalist and guitarist for the group. “Tone wise, we really enjoy dream pop & shoegaze sounds. For me personally, I’m heavily influenced by bands like Death Cab For Cutie & Coldplay.”

Microscopic opens with “Diamond,” a song that immediately sets the tone for the EP’s easy listening atmosphere. As the EP unfolds, Bear The Moon, does a great job in blending airy guitar parts and vocals, that resonate very well with me.

“Our main objective with the EP, knowing it was only four songs, was to cover different bases musically, emotionally, and conceptually,” said Karshner. “We tried to really make the dynamic of the EP in its entirety, not stay on a single note. And that idea goes for the songs as individuals as well. We try to structure our songs in a way that doesn’t bore the listener, but doesn’t overwhelm them either. We try not to hang on one mood too long and kind of keep the listener on their toes, but hopefully in a good way. So as the EP plays out, hopefully it feels like a mini roller coaster in the best way possible.”

As a singer/songwriter, I always focus on lyrics and vocals as a key part to any song. Karshners vocals are not only unique on Microscopic,but they also put a smile on my face every time I hear them. Song by song, I get moved by the emotion he puts into each song, as you can tell each song is very personal to him and the rest of the band.

Recorded with Unnus Latif and Bryan Ream at Blackmoon Recordings in Columbus, OH, Microscopic was recorded in three 16-hour sessions across six months, with pairs of eight-hour days each time.

“For the most part, the songs ended up being exactly how we demoed them aside from a few guitar lines that the engineer Bryan Ream added in the moment, during the tracking process,” said Karshner.

Just with any bands first release, recording Microscopic came with its challenges.

“Probably the most challenging part about making this EP was our lack of experience as a band in a studio setting,” said Karshner. “There were times after the fact that we felt like we should’ve spoke up or done something differently in the recording process, but the feeling out process between us as a new band and with the producers, played out the way it did and caused a few hiccups along the way. In the end and given the circumstances, we’re happy with how the body of work came out and we’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time about ourselves as a team.”

Releasing Microscopic is just the beginning for Bear The Moon, as the band looks forward to playing shows and eventually recording more songs.

“Right now, we’re working on bettering our live performances. Playing shows is something we want to do a lot of and just grow as musicians in general,” said Karshner. “We just booked studio time for later this fall to record a pair of songs that we play live, but wasn’t apart of the Microscopic EP. After that, we plan on putting together a bigger and better EP to hopefully be released by the end of next year.