Jonathan Berlin Previews Sunbears’ “Future Sounds,” Out November 11th

Sunbears frontman Jonathan Berlin recently discussed with us his “Special Limited Edition Zoetrope Disc” and “Psychedelic Stroboscope! iPhone app,” Sunbears’ East Coast tour, and contributing to With a Little Help From My Fwends, The Flaming Lips-curated tribute to The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Now, with Sunbears’ Future Sounds out this week on New Granada Records, Jonathan previewed his new album for us:

Berlin on the difference between Future Sounds and his last album, 2011’s You Will Live Forever:

“A lot less ‘thinking’ went into Future Sounds. I spent a lot of time writing the song for You Will Live Forever, but only about a month writing for Future Sounds. Then we just recorded it quickly and didn’t really look back.”

Berlin on his lyrics getting a bit heavier:

“I’m a father now, and I think being a father has kind of changed my perspective on things. Maybe I’m more defensive or aggressive and less of a pacifist? (laughs). I’m not sure. But I truly feel like our time is pretty limited here in this life: that is the heaviest bit of all. You Will Live Forever was about legacy, and while I still feel the same way, now I’m just more aggressive about it. More musings on God and the afterlife or lack thereof…oof…”

Berlin on expanding the Sunbears lineup from a duo to four members:

“We used to use a lot of playback, which worked well at the time because during the Dream Happy Dreamsera stuff, it was primarily electronic, so it didn’t feel weird to have some playback. But the more I kept incorporating guitars and pianos into the new material, the more exposed the playback felt to me, so I asked my good friends Walt [Hill] and Jordan [Allen Davis] to be a part. They haven’t been a part of the writing process much yet – although, Jordan wrote the main guitar part for ‘Laughing Girl’ – but having them play live has been feeling really great.”

Berlin on recording Future Sounds quickly:

“I think we spent about three months total on it, from day one of writing for it [through completion].”

Berlin on working with premiere indie-rock PR firm Team Clermont:

“Been friends with Bill [Benson] and company for a few years. They would always come see us when we would pass through Athens. When Bill got wind about the new album, he reached out and said he wanted to be a part!”

Berlin’s final words – for now at least – on Future Sounds:

“Happy that it’s finally coming out! Been a long time coming.”

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