Their double-album, Of Love and Loss, a Critics Pick for Best Albums of the Year by Ground Control Magazine, "The most significantly stirring and addictive musical accomplishment we've come across in some time. Taut, emotional, urgent and altogether haunting" and by PopMatters as “Eclectic, steadfast and powerful", Bipolar Explorer are an NYC-based minimalist indie rock band - featuring Summer Serafin (vocals), former Uncle frontman Michael Serafin-Wells (lead guitar & vocals, bass and percussion), Jason Sutherland (guitar & backing vocals) and occasional guests - notable for intimate, electric live performances, unimpeachable songwriting, uncompromising DIY ethos and their playing without drums.
Recently featured on the legendary Irene Trudel's show on WFMU ("America's best radio station" - Rolling Stone) who calls their sound "great drifty pop", the band have just released two new EPs: Angels, the follow-up to Of Love and Loss, and a holiday record, BPXmas. The double-release over Christmas and New Year's Day 2015 pronounced by Ground Control as "Brilliant! Ranging from moody showgaze to jangly dreampop with a sturdy bit of the ruins of CBGB's ungirding the lot."
Favoring non-traditional venues - art galleries, afterhour bookstores, house concerts, "secret" shows - founder, guitarist and lead singer, Serafin-Wells has explained their live approach, saying, "we're not quite ex-punkrockers who decided to play without a drummer and not so damn loud, partly out of necessity and partly to see if we liked it."
Forging an unique sound - described variously as shoegaze, dreampop, slowcore and minimalist indie - well serves the new songs Serafin-Wells began writing in the aftermath of the tragic loss of the group's female vocalist, Michael's love and partner, Summer Serafin, who died from traumatic brain injuries after an accidental fall in 2011. She was just 31.
At work at the time on a new record, the group eventually returned to those recordings, adding them to a handful of newly written songs post-tragedy and reconceiving the album as both a testament and tribute to Ms. Serafin – muse, collaborator and True Love. The eclectic mix of studio and home recordings – entirely appropriate given Summer’s own fierce commitment to retaining the immediacy of the band’s demos in all “proper” releases - yielded a double-record, Of Love and Loss, released to great acclaim in October 2012. As Michael told Ground Control's Daryl Darko in a feature about the band "…It's kinda of, for and about her. Every last step of this - the final mixes, the final mastering, the final art (the double CD comes with a collage poster of photos and an incredibly arresting cover, Alex Alemany’s painting “Mediterraneo”) – it was really hard to let go of because it felt like something was ending. But playing these songs out – and we’re not trying to replicate Summer’s vocals, no one could – it’s still something going forward. It’s like a kind of prayer to her and we know, we can feel it – she’s around.”
Bipolar Explorer's releases include Angels (2015), BPXmas (2014), Of Love and Loss (2012), and their earlier (pre-Summer) debut Go Negative. All titles are available on Slugg Records.