BY AMANDA SIGMAN
Driven by a passion for music and a love for creating, NEEDTOBREATHE’s frontman Bear Rinehart released Wilder Woods, a self-titled debut album, complete with soulful, smooth tunes that take introspection to a new level. This melodious combination of modern alt pop, R&B, and soul perfectly pairs carefully crafted sounds with lyrics discussing lifelong themes like patience, forgiveness, and self-love.
What launched Bear on this solo music journey? To him, it was never about signing a major label deal or hitting impressive cities on tour. From the very beginning, Bear didn’t have any tangible goals, rather he was just making music he loved. He shared, “I really wanted to make music that wasn’t a means to an end. It was really fun to make something that I had no idea where it was headed.”
It was his desire to set a strong example to his kids that led Bear to actually release the music. He shared with Unclear that it wasn’t as much the songs on the record, but the fact that he made it. To him, he was setting an example to his kids that it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes because in the end, something beautiful may come of it.
Even with relaxed intentions, Bear’s solo career quickly took off, gaining momentum from both long-time NEEDTOBREATHE fans to brand new Bear Rinehart fans. Wilder Woods hit streaming services in early August and has received nothing but glowing reviews since. With melodious rhythms like “Someday Soon” to driving beats like “What Gives You the Right” this album truly speaks to any and every mood.
The album walks listeners through a variety of themes that can be felt in pretty much any stage of life. Each song takes listeners on a journey of introspection and self-reflection that will leave you thinking about life long after the last track ends. Bear shared that while writing, he drew inspiration from his life, wife, and kids. He reflected that creating for himself rather than a band brought a refreshing perspective to his lyrics, as he didn’t need to speak for anyone else; just his own, impactful experiences.
Complete with ten gorgeous, raw, ridden-with-life-experience songs, Wilder Woods covers a myriad of genres and topics. Of all the songs on the album, Bear pinpoints “Lights Shine In” as his proudest piece. Listed first on the album, he considers this song to be somewhat of a personal manifesto and something he’ll be proud even 15 years from now.
We know everyone’s wondering, what comes next? Is this just a hobby? Will there be more? For now, Bear expressed that this project is incredibly important to him and he is highly committed to it. He’s excited to see it all come together on tour and in live shows and cannot wait to share his passion with the audience. Follow @iamwilderwoods for all the tour updates.