BEXAR ‘Pronounced BEAR’ EP Review

Country band BEXAR met in a writing session during CMA Fest in East Nashville. In the summer of 2020, they signed a major record deal with Warner Music Nashville. A little over a year later, the duo comprised of Chris Ryan and Logan Turner, has announced they’re joining Keith Urban during his Las Vegas residency and are ready to introduce themselves to the world with their major-label debut EP Pronounced BEAR on September 3rd. The title is straightforward and quite literally a basic introduction to the group as it states how to say their band name that was inspired by Ryan’s hometown of Bexar County in south Texas.

The six-song project was produced by Ross Copperman, a GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter who has co-written songs for Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, and Blake Shelton. Luke Laird, another celebrated songwriter in the industry, also helped produce one of the tracks. The guys of BEXAR have co-writing credits on each track as well. 

The EP opens with “Carry You Home,” a track that clings to nostalgia and wistful moments of youth. The lyricism captures those fleeting images of teenage bliss like sneaking out of the house while the rest of the family is peacefully sleeping, running around with bare feet, watching the sunset, and the duo even makes note of “the man on the moon watching us break the rules.” The song plays out like a camera reel flashing back to carefree days. In the pre-chorus, Ryan sings in a low tone, “Those teenage dreams wake up and they go by just like that / Girl if you wanna go back / Go back to the days in gold / If you ever feel alone / Let the memories carry you home.”

Track number four, “Be Good To Her” is the slowest song on the EP making use of a warm-sounding piano instrumental. It stages itself as advice given to a man on how to treat the special woman in her life. Ryan’s lead vocals are charming, emotional, and vulnerable as he sings, “Be good to her, treat her right / Be the love, don’t be the fight / Give her all she’ll ever need / Got to hold her tight, got to let her breathe / Make sure she knows she shines like gold / Four little words, be good to her.” The song was written by Ryan and also features lyrics from notable singer-songwriter Liz Rose and GRAMMY winner Femke Weidema.

The lead single for the EP, “Key To Life” is influenced by dashes of country, folk, and pop. It is a feel-good summery song that celebrates the little things we should be grateful for. The song ends on the line, “It ain’t all worked out but everything’ll be alright / Just livin’ that dream, yeah, turning that key to life.” The song “One Day” is another upbeat track with a firm country feeling and a bluegrass touch; a banjo played by Turner can be heard as the highlight of the track. The song is a knee-slapping ray of positivity about the power of dreaming and seeing a bright future. Through the six songs, the duo distinguishes themselves with a folksy country-pop sound and imaginative storytelling.

Just like the beginning of the EP, the closer “Mexico” is filled with reminiscing sweet memories from the past. The outro calls back to and tells the detailed story of a flirty vacation during a spring break in the early college years. It’s the most pop-saturated song on the project and has an explosive chorus where Ryan exclaims, “Baby we said we’d never forget this / But just like your t-shirt we left it in Cancun / It was heaven when we were never gettin’ old, never lettin’ go, down in Mexico.”

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