Colombus-based Spirit of the Bear returns with their first single in a year and a half titled Summer Snow. Written during an eight-day reclusive writing trip, it captures their spiritual growth as a band and as individuals as well as a return to nature with vibrant disco-inspired indie rock.
The single is joined by a video featuring the boys with a tincture of vintage imagery as they perform the single and more. Watch and learn more about Spirit of the Bear and the single below.
What was the inspiration behind the video?
The song “Summer Snow” is really about us learning to exist within the space we’ve been given. As we’ve grown together as a band over the past few years, we felt that this is really the first time when we’ve fully understood ourselves, each other, and our place as people, to a certain extent, and the whole new album explores those concepts. This song acts as the centerpiece, though, and we wanted the video to reflect those themes. In the video, we start confined in a smaller indoor space, not interacting with each other, but being near each other. As the video continues, we start opening up and being together and finding ways to enjoy ourselves. Musically, the song was inspired by 70s dance and disco, specifically our singer James’s strange obsession with Van McCoy’s song “The Hustle,” which he somehow only discovered last year. Because of that, disco influences pop up all over the album, most prominently on this song.
Can you elaborate on some of the imagery used?
Since we first started planning the music video, we knew we wanted it to have a very vintage vibe. We knew we wanted some shots to look like they were shot on old film, and the shots we chose for that effect were very intentional. All of our outfits were picked by James’s girlfriend Savannah, who collects vintage clothing (@vieforvintage on Instagram). James wanted to stress a warm tone and distinct 70’s look for everything in order to fit the song’s disco and 70s dance inspirations.
Where was the video filmed?
All of the house scenes were shot at our keyboard player Danny’s parents’ house. His mom has a very old, elegant, and well-decorated house and we wanted to take full advantage of that. The video shows a lot of antiques and various imagery from around that house that perfectly fit the video’s vibe and give it a “lived-in” feel. Most of the outdoor scenes were shot at a nearby park called Mill Creek Metro Park, which is special to Youngstown, Ohio. It was a huge part of all of our childhoods, so it was great to be able to feature some nostalgic spots in our video. Also, James filmed a lot of B-roll at a vintage shop called Flower Child in downtown Columbus, so a lot of that footage features real furniture, clothes, and items directly from the era we were inspired by. For the scenes of us playing, we filmed in Columbus at a video studio and made use of the infinity wall and orange backlighting to give those shots the same energy as the rest of the video.
What was your favourite part of the process?
The best part for us was being able to spend time together and work on the project. We all live in different parts of Ohio now, so when all five of us can get together, it is always a really special time and we don’t take it for granted. When we wrote the song, we were on an eight day writing retreat in the woods of Daniel Boone National Forest. We rented an extremely secluded cabin out there last July, and this was one of the first songs to come from that week. It really ended up being one of the most fun times of our band’s career. In terms of the video, the park scenes were very fun to shoot because it was basically just us goofing around while getting footage in a place that we all loved growing up.
Any behind the scenes stories you can share?
When we got to Danny’s parents’ house to film the indoor scenes, Danny’s mom was very particular about our drummer Jamie’s outfit, and ended up taking him to browse her extensive collection of old clothes. She eventually forced him to change outfits and gave him a necklace to wear. We ended up filming a bunch of shots of that necklace sort of as a joke, and it ends up popping up a few times in the video prominently.
Our other keyboardist Ethan’s girlfriend, Marianne, designed and built the model version of the house for us to film, and it turned out incredibly well. We entirely self-directed, produced, and edited this video for the first time in our band’s career, and we ended up assembling an amazing team that made it possible.