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The 2 Bears “Be Strong” (DFA Records)

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The 2 Bears is not the name of the VHS tape you have next to a box of condoms at a friend of the family “confirmed bachelor’s” condo in Palm Springs. It is the name of an indie dance duo composed of Joe Goddard of Hot Chip and Raf Randall, and they just released an album on DFA records. Before you roll your eyes and say “oh great, another indie dance album,” grab a bevy, take a seat and take a listen.

It’s not quite indie dance; it’s more like their wiki says “power-hip-house-liquid-bmore-step” (they even take a try at country).  More generally speaking, it’s a mesh of UK pop, dance, and grime, ready for the club and primed for some serious remixes (as witnessed on the recent “Work” EP).   As a whole, the album works because of the passion and talent behind it, and the respect Goddard and Randall have for the genres represented.  The 10-track LP stays together by never taking itself too seriously and never losing site of the concept—having fun.   It’s a dance record that’s going to make you move, and just poppy enough to make you sing along without seeming cheesy.  Stand out tracks include the title “Be Strong,” “Work,” and the epic “Church.”  The production is top notch all the way through, and the songs can work for both the ladies and the gents.  DJs such as Annie Mac, Erol Alkon and Pete Tong have all given the record support, and even Elton John is listed as a fan.

“Be Strong” is out now on DFA Records. Pick it up here.

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