When the 2Bears first album Be Strong dropped in the U.S. a few weeks back, it exceeded my expectations. I mean, stakes were high after hearing Bear Hug, but then again, 2Bears are one of those rad duos with so much potential that you almost don’t want to get too hopeful about it.

Bear #1, Joe Goddard—songwriter, tambourine expert, and throatier vocalist of Hot Chip fame meets Bear #2, Raf Rundell—Ministry of Sound radio host, club promoter, and house music proponent. Sounds great, and yet …remember Electronic? Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr! New Order vocalist Bernard Sumner! And, wait for it …guest vocals from Neil Tenant on premier single Getting Away With It! This wet dream come true made the comedown all the more sour when Electronic’s one (and only) album was …meh. With darling Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip tenor) doing a surprise lullaby on Bear Hug‘s bridge, the 2Bears comedown seemed all the more possible.

Happily, the bears are out the cave full force with Be Strong, and do not disappoint. 2Bears’ prototypical approach to classic house styling could feel cheesy in less savvy paws, but these two turn out the guilty dance/pop treasures ex-ravers (and wannabes, ahem) adore.

 And the lyrics! Relatable nursery rhymes with conscious yet humble messages:

“Some people tell you what to listen to. Spend the whole time saying this and that is cool. You’ve got to follow your own mind and ears. And find a sound that stays inside your head for years.”

This bit, from title track Be Strong, weaves into the record’s overall tone: support each other, be happy about what you’ve got, and celebrate the gift that is good music. And even talk about the tough stuff, like how a lifelong obsession with said music can leave you feeling insatiable and inferior:

“Some people say that music sets you free. But all my life the music has imprisoned me.”

It is painful! But at least they’re talking about it. And making feel-good music that’s fun to dance to. That’s good enough for me.