In a world overflowing with indie-rock bands, honing in on your craft isn’t easy especially when it’s been overdone. But Swimming With Bears manage to twist their sound just enough to stand out amongst the rest. Claiming the “pop n roll” genre with Motown hints, Swimming With Bears is here to keep our energy levels high and get us out of the gray. The four members Joe Perry (lead vocals/bass), Alec Conte (lead guitar), Jonny boy Kerr (rhythmic guitar), and Ryan Hannasch (drums) formed the band in Austin, TX. In the past, Swimming with Bears have opened for Weezer and Panic! At the Disco and scratches the itch for fans of acts like Kings of Leon, The Temper Trap, and Phoenix.
In 2019, Swimming With Bears signed with Cinematic Music Group / Bear Creek Records and immediately headed into the studio with producer Ryan Haddock (The Lumineers, Vance Joy) to capture something new. Scheduled to release September 13th, the self-titled EP will open a new chapter for Swimming With Bears, after spending the past few years shaping their sound.
It’s hard to stay positive when those around you lack consideration and kindness. We’ve all experienced this type of negativity in retail jobs; entitled customers who take out their emotional baggage on hard-working, blue-collar employees. “Keep Smiling” perfectly illustrates that struggle. The upbeat tempo stays consistent throughout the song as a cheery diner waitress keeps a smile on her face despite all the rude tables she waits. She dances in between each customer, not letting anyone get her down. With spot-on cinematography and a retro-tinged location, the sunny hooks and bright guitar riffs are contagious, keeping our spirits high despite the personal flashbacks of terrible customers.
While the music video is humorous and relatable, it tells the story of lead singer Joe Perry’s day job as a waiter at a Tex-Mex restaurant. He would serve customers all day, but really just wanted to play shows and write music. A hidden message is beneath the music as well, “truth and escapism,” which is the central theme for the forthcoming EP. Swimming With Bears takes negative energy and uses it as motivation, embracing the journey as musicians, and ultimately encourages listeners to never give up on their dreams.