Befriend the Bears
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Befriend the Bears

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Folk Rock




"Show your support for Befriend the Bears in the Bud Light Battle of the Bands"

Hey, y'all, we've got a little local project on our hands, and we need your help.

One of our friendliest and most unique local musical acts, the acoustic folk/psychedelic rock/jazz ensemble Befriend the Bears, has been chosen as one of the top 24 finalists in the nationwide Bud Light Battle of the Bands competition.

In this head-to-head battle of emerging bands, over 300 acts from across the country have been competing for the chance to take a cruise on the Caribbean to perform at the Bud Light Port Paradise Music Festival in the Bahamas this November.

Here's the deal, though: They have to make it into the Top 3 according to audience votes in order to earn their spot in the festival. And that's where you come in.

"We were number 18 yesterday, and we are number 7 today. We hope to be number 3 tomorrow... and then number 1," says lead Bears vocalist, Tiana Berlin. "We really hope to represent Austin in the Bahamas, so we're hoping you can vote for us and maybe tell some friends."

By placing your vote for Befriend The Bears, you're helping some incredibly hard-working local musicians accomplish a major career milestone and you're helping to uphold Austin's reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. (You don't want a band from Detroit to win this over an Austin band, do you?)

Best part is, if you place your vote before August 27, you have a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win a ticket on that same seafaring cruise to see Befriend the Bears play live in Nassau along with Pitbull, Flo Rida, Young the Giant, The All-American Rejects, Brad Paisley and more.

Here's the part where you head on over to the voting page, enjoy Befriend the Bears' audition video for the contest (crowd favorite, "Howlin' Fool") and then make your vote count. For Austin. For live music. For freedom.

Let's get them Bears to the Bahamas, y'all. Who's with me? - Culture Map (Austin)-Michael Graupmann

"Night after Night"

Befriend the Bears, Sound of Curves at Sam's Burger Joint. It's time for an alt-rock homecoming. Austin's Befriend the Bears, working with the EP “Before They Take Over,” is doing a Texas tour, and the first stop is in S.A. That's fitting because singer Tiana Berlin and her cousin, lead guitarist Aaron Sekula, are from here. Both went to Clark High School. Supple-voiced Berlin also was a member of the Network for Young Artists. Befriend the Bears plays a mellow brand of alt-rock that, on songs such as “Jericho,” “Bone Dry” and “Stolen,” features guitar jangle punctuated by sax riffs. The result is a cool but simmering sound that allows lyrics to be understood and emotion to be expressed without sacrificing a bit of groove.
- San Antonio Express News

"DeEP End Texas Platters"

Befriend the Bears likewise swells eclectic behind the horns and stuttering jazz rhythms of "Jericho," opening debut Before They Take Over.Formerly dubbed A Likely Few, the local septet never captures the same energy on an EP that then becomes more of a showcase for Tiana Berlin's vocals, which can achieve a nice pop balance ("Bone Dry") but also drift into trill territory ("Stolen," "Red Lantern"). - Austin Chronicle (Doug Freeman)

"The Big One"

This is a close-your-eyes-and-just-listen to the music add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. The vocals are wild and beautiful as Tiana Berlin flexes her voice in a Bjork meets Sam Brown triumph while the band plays a Dave Matthews merged with Pink Floyd musical tapestry. And there are horns wailing in this surreal mix, too. Befriend the Bears ‘Red Lantern’ is a departure to destinations unknown. - Big Med Playlist (Hal Newman)

"Befriend the Bears Release New EP"

Befriend The Bears is a jazzy five-piece pop band from Austin. A bit like Dave Matthews Band, complete with saxophone and a guest horn section, Befriend The Bears offers straightforward, mellow music. Tiana Berlin’s vocals are cleaner, clearer, and prettier (think Feist) than Matthews’, though, giving the band an intimate feel.

Their five song EP, “Before They Take Over” was released on Jan. 22, 2012, and each song exhibits different aspects of the band’s aesthetic. Track one, “Jericho” features Berlin’s unadorned vocals solo, while on the next two tracks, “Bone Dry” and “Stolen,” Josh Arredondo joins Berlin vocally throughout each. “Jericho” is horn heavy and upbeat, whereas “Stolen” is more relaxed, featuring the twinkling guitar and synth of Aaron Sekula.

From track one to five, each song seems to get more and more mellow, with “Jericho” being the fastest-paced song on the EP and the final track, “Red Lantern,” feeling at times almost like a lullaby. Berlin sounds almost like Björk during parts of the final track, exhibiting her versatility throughout the entire EP.

“Before They Take Over” can be streamed or purchased from Befriend The Bears’ website. - Elephant Talk Indie Music Magazine

"Befriend the Bears, Before They Take Over"

Befriend the Bears is an Austin-based seven piece virtuosic pairing of amorous tonal textures and feverishly erotic vocals which leaves the listener reaching for that post-coital cigarette. Their debut EP Before They Take Over is a multi-layered, eclectic work combining elements of indie-folk, funk, psychedelic, soul with a solid foundation of good old fashion rock’n'roll. The band’s ability to defy genre and stylistically spill out track after track of woven, burning storytelling that elegantly raises your emotional temperature.

Bringing in a horn section (Eduardo Ramirez-Sax, Marc Oran-Trumpet, Jason Morris-Trombone) to accompany fierce bass lines (Josh Arredondo), inventive-dynamic percussion (Behn Stuart) and siren like vocals (Tiana Berlin), they toss the salad of genres even more when the lead guitarist (Aaron Sekula) switches to the Korg for their Pink Floyd-esque song Red Lantern.

While the song Red Lantern is the last track of their debut EP Before They Take Over, it is truly one to really savor. Beginning with lyrics coded with quiet anger and soft vocals to match, the song then leads into a lyric free showcase of instrumentation solos. After some seriously intense bass chaos the song drops you off a high energy cliff and swiftly catches you with a soft emotional sax followed by sweet but mournful vocals.

The EPs second track “Stolen” exemplifies the delightfully haunting songwriting that has kept my finger on the repeat button. Memorable guitar licks, meticulous rhythm and vocal harmonies I could live in. BTB’s prowess in melody and lyric is unmistakable. Don’t miss this EP when it drops in January 2012. - WRBB Radio Music Blog by Seth Cronin


Still working on that hot first release.



Strutting the sound of Portishead and Pink Floyd’s love-child, Befriend the Bears plays with horns and lead female vocals like a teenager plays Twister co-ed style. They've recently beat out over 300 bands in the Bud Light Battle of the Bands contest and are one of the 24 finalists. Befriend the Bears were also booked to play Leslie Fest 2012, Art Outside 2011 and 2012 and Pecan Street Festival 2012 after completing their Texas tour.

Strutting the sound of Portishead and Pink Floyd's love-child, Befriend the Bears plays with horns and lead female vocals like a teenager plays Twister co-ed style. Starting in July of 2011, the Bears were originally four with only Tiana Berlin, Aaron Sekula, Behn Stuart and Josh Arredondo. A month later they became five when Eduardo Ramirez joined the group and three shows later, the Bears became seven with Jason Morris and Marc Oran completing the horn section.

Recorded at 5th Street Studios (home to fellow Austin artists like White Denim, Bob Schneider and The Couch), Befriend the Bears prowled the map stylistically and tracked five songs with lead engineer Nick Joswick resulting in nothing less than a beautifully composed EP (Before They Take Over) that gently flutters you away to a place where bears delightfully roam free.

Feeling the jazzy love of horns and the haunting air of the female vocals, the Bears bring a little bit of fire to the often 'too cool' watering hole. Morphing styles and genres, Befriend the Bears take you into their euphonious den to tell you stories of past battles won and lost.

The Bears were chosen to be on of 24 finalists in Bud Light Battle of the Bands and later also chosen to be a finalist in Austin's Culture Map Last Band Standing.

After their Forty Four Bouts of Madness tour 2012, Befriend the Bears caught the eye of band manager Chris Vallejo. He approached the band and offered to help them with licencing opportunities. He is currently managing Befriend the Bears and exciting announcements are coming soon.

Catching attention from WRBB radio in Boston, local Austin blogs and magazines, crowds from San Antonio and Austin locals, Befriend the Bears have been enjoying a quickly growing fan base who remain incredibly loyal. Before They Take Over is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Waterloo Records and other online outlets.

Current Band Members:
Tiana Berlin
Behn Stuart
Aaron Sekula
Josh Arredondo
Jason Morris
Marc Oran
Raymond Johnson

Past Members:
Eduardo Ramirez