We all have stories to tell, and songwriters who craft relatable narratives are priceless. Coupled with an artistic vision, music videos give us an otherworldly escape. Wandering YouTube Music, one evening I stumbled into the world of Bearly Beloved.
Born in Italy, one might say the life story of Bearly Beloved’s Bear Prandelli feels predestined. Calling New Jersey home until 2015, his focus on video production provided a “day job” with more stability than the life of a musician. The pandemic impacted Prandelli’s day job, allowing his inner songwriter out to process life. Stark, authentic lyricism haunts “Martyr” with its simple filming. No frills, it feels the audience members are invaders on an intimate confession: weirdly intimate, yet an invasion.
Visually dark, “Every Time” starts brilliantly with an homage to Tom Waits. The track rests in its gritty vocal and nuanced acoustic guitar. Uptempo, bright guitar serves as a contrast for this artistic work. All I keep thinking is how great Prandelli’s music would fit in the current roster of Third Man Records.
Prandelli’s “day job” with WulfenBearMeadia means focusing on creative projects collaborating with fellow artists like Killa Maus. Visual storytelling takes a hallucinogenic trip-rock slide to cool, new, psychedelic simplicity. Maximizing this song’s sexy vibe, Killa Maus seems to harness falsetto-powered wavelengths of cool. Looking straight into the camera, it’s impossible not to be pulled into this funky, orgasmic, sensory whirlpool.
Composition, form, or message remain uncluttered. In the end, Prandelli’s songwriting and video work led me to some of the best new music I have heard in 2021. —Lisa Whealy