To Be or Not To Be the Bear
Written by Gillian Booth on June 20th, 2017
Swedish alt-pop artist, Be The Bear, has recently released the music video for her debut single, “Erupt”. Be The Bear is an alias name for Christina Wehage, who independently produces her music for her own record label, Loud Attic Records, in Gothenburg, Sweden. “Erupt” was previewed by Volvo in their popular winter commercial, and gained popularity even before the release of the entire track.
The name “Be The Bear” is a result of Wehage’s childhood fear of bears; she would have reoccurring nightmares about bears chasing her up staircases. The music video for the song, “Erupt” deals with these fears and shows her running down staircases, turning on lights, and preparing to face the challenge of meeting a bear in its cave. At first hesitant and timid, she gains more confidence as she turns on each new light. Ultimately, she finds and wakes up the bear and sings into its face as its gold teeth bellow out strong winds of breath right back at her. She returns from the encounter with a new strength; her outfit is changed from a white glittery coat to the same coat with large splatters of black. This is perhaps representing a maturity in which she holds a new power over her fears. Coming full circle, Wehage growls at the camera with gold teeth in the last shot, showing that she has indeed become the bear.
“Erupt” rises on the swirl of a 60-piece orchestra, percolating keyboards, and Wehage’s crystal clear voice that has a Scandinavian lilt that recalls Bjork. It makes Wehage’s introspective lyrics sound cosmic as she sings. “One step forward/ I trust my feet to lead me ‘cross/ The bowels of the dark/ A rush of blood to/ Clear the shadows from my chest/ Revealing who you are.”
The music video resonates with something powerful. Everyone has their own “bears”, or fears that are difficult to face. These fears do not always disappear on their own. Sometimes it takes confronting them head on in order to feel empowered by our strength against them. As shown in the “Erupt” video, facing fears is a journey. Wehage does not even see her bear until the last chorus. Instead, she works up to it, preparing herself both physically and mentally. After her encounter, she seems relieved, but also proud. It is the same in real life. When we face our fears after a long journey of finding the power within ourselves, it is something to be proud of.
Erupt was released by Loud Attic Records, through Kobalt, on Friday, June 9th 2017. It is available to stream and purchase everywhere.