"This self-released, Moldy Peachesesque gem is the year’s best indie pop release. This Auckland, New Zealand-based duo rocks without pretense, and they get extra points for writing an entire album about a panda." - Reverb, official Denver Post Music Blog
Auckland, New Zealand. Boy meets girl while working together at a record store. Trained pianist and singer Josie Tuck encourages journalism student Dan Trevarthen to chase his dreams of singing in a band, Dan introduces Josie to a world of music outside the top 40. Boy often hides around the store, only to leap out and give Josie a fright, delighting Dan and customers alike. Three years later the pair are fast friends. When Dan's panda obsession bursts into four chord pop music one day, Josie instinctively harmonises. They put songs on the internet. They are all about pandas.
Taking a name from the Chinese words for 'panda' ('Xiong Mao', or 'Bear Cat' in English), Dan soon found his two piece pop band being asked to play actual real shows around the country, venturing as far South as chilly Dunedin (over 3/4 of the way to Antarctica!) and back home opening the curtains for touring acts like Andrew Bird and Half-handed Cloud.
Iin 2009 they were bizarrely top five finalists in a nationwide MTV band competition. Then wrote Xiong Mao, betraying a love for the three chord pop of the Ramones and lush girl group arrangements.
Now working on a similarly dense record about the perils of true love (and other wild animals), Bear Cat are hoping to find their way to the US/Europe in the near future.