Spirit of the Bear Breaks Down Every Track of Their There's No Such Thing as Fire EP

If you're not already obsessed with Ohio-based indie rock band Spirit of the Bear, prepare to be wowed by their new There's No Such Thing as Fire EP.

Made up of James Harker, Danny Svenson, Ethan Schwendeman, Jamie Vitullo and Mike Perorazio, the band is known for their bright, bold sounds, blending indie rock and pop with fresh electronic instrumentation to create something fully their own. Today, they dropped the new EP, and in this interview, they break down the EP and every one of its incredible tracks.

There's No Such Thing as Fire

Spirit of the Bear: Honestly, we came up with the line randomly and saved it away as an iPhone note. Months later, when we were working on the EP, we found that note and decided we were going to use it as the EP title because we thought it could be interpreted in a lot of different ways. Later, when we were writing lyrics for "Live On The Sun," we wanted to find a way to fit the line into a song, and it ended up working out perfectly as a metaphor for being in a toxic relationship and describing a feeling where nothing hurts if everything is bad all the time. Essentially, we reverse-engineered the EP title to have meaning!

Lyrically, we wanted to give listeners the experience of a linear narrative. If you listen to the tracks in order, there's a story in there that progresses from track to track about a souring relationship and taking the steps needed to take better care of ourselves and learn more about myself on an individual, emotional level.

Musically, we wanted to go full-tilt into a 1970s pop-inspired sound, and although we diverge from that a bit, we had a lot of fun trying to work within that framework while still trying to keep everything sounding original.


'At Least I Can Feel'

Spirit of the Bear: While working on the new songs this one came together very quickly, and we recorded it all at the same time in only a few takes. It is heavily inspired by one of the first songs we ever wrote, and even includes some of the same lyrics. It serves as a love letter to our younger selves and fans who have stuck by us since the beginning as we usher in a newer sound.

This song is about remembering the past and the journey that has brought us where we are today. We've been playing, writing and creating together as a group since high school, and having reflections of some of our oldest work in our new tracks provides a feeling of nostalgia for us and our oldest fans.

This one is special because the lyrics are all repurposed from an old song called "The Well" that we wrote when we were first starting out in high school. We wanted it to be a kind of thesis statement for the EP's narrative with the line "I don't know where I'm going, but at least I can feel."



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Spirit of the Bear: This song started with a drum beat that was inspired by a Tyler, The Creator song of all things. We are all influenced by '70s music, and naturally, with the groove we ended up really leaning into the sound of that era which kicked off the entire process and mindset we had going into this EP. It seemed like as soon as James [Harker] had a short demo and we all got in a room together our individual parts came to us rather easily.

This track feels like hanging on by a thread to a fleeting love. It's about going through a relationship where separating is the best option, but we keep holding on to that glimmer of hope that things will still work out.

Our favorite line from this one is the one with the song's title, which is why it ended up being called "Wires." "Don't leave me here, held up by Wires." We feel like it invokes a strong image and represents the conflicted feeling of wanting to make a relationship work and riding the high of a love that's toxic, even when you know it's going to break eventually.


'Live On The Sun'

Spirit of the Bear: The demo of this song was initially quite different from the final song, but the short intro you hear is actually taken directly from that demo. From there, we jammed on ideas and had a full structure within a day. This song was probably the easiest to make because once we had a structure we just threw all kinds of fun and crazy things into the track until we felt we were done.

To us, this is our best work, and it encapsulates the sound we've been trying to develop since we started. The instrumental combines a nostalgic '70s sound with elements of a sound we'll be working with more in the future.

"There's no such thing as fire when you live on the sun." This was the line that was reverse-engineered into the song based on the EP title, and we love the metaphor of being able to endure anything a bad relationship throws at you because you're so numb to the pain after spending too long in that situation. We feel like it's extremely relatable and it gives that feeling more weight when portrayed that way.


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'Living Alone'

Spirit of the Bear: This song is another example where the intro is taken from the original demo, and from there we let our fidgety minds take over. It is definitely the oddball of the EP—we wanted to do one song on this record with no preconceived structure or rules for ourselves. The three-part structure that ended up happening was inspired by songs like "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" or "Paranoid Android." It's a prime example of us laying down the first things that come to our minds, and it actually working in our favor.

This song can be summed up by a feeling of transition within the narrative of the EP and the sound. When making this song, we had a heavy focus on creating different sections that had flowing transitions, where two moments of the song's feeling could still be connected without feeling disjointed.

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt, until I pulled back the layers of my tangled earth, shredded by the war I'm learning not to fight." This line kind of sums up the entire EP—a Vonnegut reference that leads into a comparison of learning not to fight wars you know you can't win. It's the encapsulation of the self-care theme on this song, and bridges the gap between a toxic past and a healthier future.



'The More Of You The Better '

Spirit of the Bear: This song started with the bass synth that opens the track and quickly spun out into the super percussion/vocal-layer heavy groove that stays prevalent throughout. With a solid drum groove from James' demo in place, all that was left was to plan a structure and have everyone add their own spin to the parts. The writing of this track came rather easily, while the recording was a much bigger challenge to take on with the addition of tons of extra production layers.

This song is about working towards strong, emotional connections with others. The resolution of the EP for us is a happy moment, looking forward to sharing life with someone else after learning more about yourself, and when making the song and video for the track, we added as many friends as we could to build on that point.

"On days when I wanna give the least of me, you still meet me here and help put out my fires." This song is the most straightforward love song we've ever written, and I love this line about the simple idea of a healthy love where two people are there to help each other more than anything. In context with the rest of the EP, we think it's really nice and ties up the narrative well. Plus, it harkens back to the "fire" themes from earlier in the tracklist.


For more on our favorite music from this week, click HERE to read our interview with Madeline the Person on her new Chapter 3: The Burning EP.