Girl Meets Bear “Flight Path – EP”

Toronto-based duo Girl Meets Bear sound exactly like their name: wispy vocals floating over muscular beats.  But what really sets them apart is the strength of their songwriting and production.  Their sound is based around jarring-but-warm sounds and atmospheric vocals, which are then tightly wound and structured into a thoroughly enjoyable set of songs that are ethereal and danceable at the same time.

It’s really cool how Rebecca Emms’s vocals can be sleepy, but the album still sounds like a night out.  It’s great party music, with powerful dynamics and Joel Bojeczko’s thumping bass.  However, there’s a vaguely sinister undercurrent that runs throughout the EP’s five songs.  They’re serious and brooding, even creepy at times, as best heard on “Blood Moon,” the duo’s strongest and most memorable song so far.

Their instrumental arrangements are spare, but they have just the right amount of texture on songs like “Every Desire” and “Lit Up,” which twist in different directions as waves of synth wash over the listener.  This seems to be the key to the duo’s particular sound: it’s more about the sounds that they choose to include in their songs, rather than the amount of sounds they can come up with.

Girl Meets Bear are great composers, but also great editors, and they’ve proven themselves to be ready for the limelight.  “Blood Moon,” in particular, is totally radio-ready.  With its minimalist stomp and super-catchy chorus, it really should be everywhere.  But every song on Flight Path is very good, unveiling another great act to watch this year.

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