Observations: 2 Bears is a Hot Chip off the old block

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The Independent Culture

Joe Goddard may have achieved critical acclaim and commercial success as a leading member of Hot Chip, but that is clearly not enough for him. The artist is a member of the Graeco-Roman party collective, put out a solo album, Harvest Festival, last December and co-produced Little Boots's debut album. Now he has embarked on an intriguing side project.

The 2 Bears brings together Goddard and Raf Rundell, a club promoter and DJ. The pair bonded over a love of Sade and have covered the soul singer's "When Am I Going to Make a Living?" for their debut EP, Follow the Bears. Listening to Rundell's gruff voice replacing Sade's sultry tones, it's clear the duo may not take themselves entirely seriously.

Their chosen name comes from the pair's facial hair and is a nod to a particular bearded gay sub-culture, Goddard admits. "I have been called a bear by many people over the years, not because of my sexuality, but simply my physical appearance," he says.

Moreover, the title track's minimal, moody synths betray a deep-seated passion for house and underground disco. "I am currently enjoying lots of disco and house music that was originally created and championed by gay men," the Hot Chip founder agrees, "A lot of those influences find their way into 2 Bears, so the association with gay culture fits the project well." Goddard and Rundell are also set to record an album, due later this year.

'Follow the Bear' is out on Monday on Southern Fried