Review & Interview: “Hidden Side” by BEAR

“Hidden Side” by BEAR is a fantastical, dark pop masterpiece. From the catchy, entrancing vocals to the spacey production value, this song feels like a delightfully disconcerting dream. If you’re a sucker for a classic pop vocal but often desire something more from the production/atmosphere of Top-40 hits, this track will not disappoint. At every turn, it’s interesting, mesmerizing, and musically indulgent. 

It begins with a minor, melodic, and poignant set of vocal samples. They’re almost chant-like in nature, setting an ominous mood. Some deep, buzzing synths swell in the background until the verse cuts in. The vocalist recites some dramatic, whispered lyrics as the instrumentation fills out with more rhythms, textures, and tones. 


The chorus emerges with a flourish of bright, chesty vocals and booming bass. “I can see now, my hidden side,” the vocalist cries, landing on decadently eerie chord tones. The melody and vocal performance escalate the atmosphere to something way more high-energy, giving the dynamic arc of the song a dash of interest. Even the vocal production suddenly feels different. Some moments sound covered. Others pierce through the mix with unbridled clarity. The voice pans from ear to ear with a quick smoothness. All of this solidifies the chorus as a fresh, eclectic, and gorgeous addition to the track. 


The rest of the track is rife with other tantalizing elements. If you know anything about production, this song is just a Rolodex of tools and tricks. Be sure to give BEAR a follow and a listen to hear some more of their amazing work. You won’t regret it! 

Written by Alyce Lindberg

Q&A with BEAR

Q: There are a lot of fascinating vocal and production elements in this song. What was your creative process in making “Hidden Side”?

BEAR: First of all, “Hidden Side” was a folk song I composed playing the guitar. There was a melody with lyrics and guitar chords. I sent it to Adrien Sabathier, and that is how we started our collaboration. Then, we worked together to find good sounds and the perfect structure for the track as we were looking for the right balance between the organic and the electronic instruments. Finally, we recorded the vocals, and it was a very important moment for all of the backing vocals you can hear throughout “Hidden Side”. Adrien is always in charge of finalizing the work by providing the mix and the mastering parts.

Q: Who would you most like to collaborate with, if it could be anyone in the world?

BEAR: What a difficult question… Definitely, I think it would be Robert Plant. He has inspired me so much since I was a child, so it would be like coming full circle, you know.

Q: What has been one of the highlights of your music career so far?

BEAR: I think it was the release of the “Hidden Side” video on the 8th of September 2022. You know, when you have an idea that becomes material, true, out of your mind… You feel a great happiness inside.

Q: How is the music scene in Toulouse? If you could perform in any city in the world, where would you perform?

BEAR: Toulouse is a small city with a huge cultural hyperactivity where very talented artists come from. You can listen to all the types of music you could desire: jazz, rock, metal, pop, electronic music-but there is also a living traditional music culture. It was chance to have evolved in such an eclectic city in terms of music. If I could perform in any city in the world, even if my greatest dream is to play at the Bikini in my living city, I think it would be amazing to play in London.

Q: Which aspects of the music of the 1980s do you most treasure/desire to implement? What about modern music?

BEAR: Analog sounds, typical harmonic changes, and engaging melodies are the aspects of the 1980s music we want to implement the most. Although the dense rhythms and production processes we have used are modern music influences.

Q: What do you do when you AREN’T working on music?

BEAR: When I am not working on music, when I am not listening to music or going to a concert, I like practicing sports, watching movies, and discovering new things as much as possible.

Interviewed by Alyce Lindberg

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