Spirit of the Bear Signs Record Contract

Spirit of the Bear’s career took a huge step forward this month when the band signed a recording contract with the BMG label.

“It feels completely surreal still for all of us,” said James Harker, singer and songwriter for the Columbus-based indie-rock band.

“It’s absolutely a dream scenario to be on the same label as so many artists we love and respect and to have such a big label backing our music. I don’t think it’ll really feel real until the new music starts coming out.”

BMG’s roster of indie bands already includes Bad Suns, Alt-J, Moon Taxi, Milky Chance and OK Go

Spirit of the Bear’s roots are firmly in Youngstown, where the band was started six years ago. It will return to its hometown on Black Friday, Nov. 26, for a show at West Side Bowl.

Spirit’s latest album, which is self-titled, was released late last year. The band is currently working on an EP that will be released next year.

Harker said signing with BMG will help Spirit expand its audience in several ways.

“For one, we have a marketing team and a booking agent now, so the marketing will be taken out of our hands for the first time and put into the hands of people who really know how to promote music like our,” he said. “We’ll also be distributing the new EP a lot more widely this time, and our opportunity for spreading the music will be compounded a lot.”

As is often the case when bands finally get their big break, the signing with BMG happened gradually and all of a sudden.

“The whole thing came about because our new demos were circulating at our management company, and after so long we got a call from our manager saying that a rep from BMG was interested in signing us for this new EP we’ve been working on,” Harker said. “It all happened super fast, and then from there it took several moths to solidify the contract and actually sign the deal.”

Spirit’s contract with BMG is strictly for releasing music; the band already had a manager and booking agent.

But the deal has delivered a jolt that has the band raring to go.

“We hope to release the new EP in the spring of 2022 and do a lot of touring throughout next year off the back of this deal,” Harker said.

“Touring is definitely a big goal for us next year, whether that be playing festivals or opening for another band playing clubs. That’s our biggest focus right now aside from finishing up the EP, which is super close to being finished.

Pictured: Spirit of the Bear.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.