Years ago, layered behind the screenwriting of a major film, I caught something that sounded so sweet. Busting out my Shazaam app, I hit rewind a few times till I got a hit.
The song that was giving me so much audible intrigue was Keep You, by Chicago duo Wild Belle. The song had gained quite a bit of attention. Their album Isles had been released not long before I stumbled upon the duo. Isles was a solid showcase of jazz roots, island inspiration & beautiful vocals. Complete with horn sections, lyrical depth, & interesting melodies… I was hooked.
Thanks to the good folks over at Evenko’s Osheaga, I got to witness their force live, at what was then my first ever Montreal festival experience. They also happened to be the very first act I caught. The set-up on stage was complete. Though they are a duo, their backing band really brings the sound to a fully realized place.
The sibling-duo has gained some recognition, made stronger by a feature with Major Lazer. Their mid-tempo dance track boasts melodramatic vocals and opens the record.
Wild Belle singer, Natalie Bergman, has said many times before that her music focuses on love and men. Stating she is “kind of addicted to them”. Something the vocalist boasts to not give a fuck about… and she shouldn’t. A muse is found with turbulent love and the music holds integrity for it.
So here we are, the first month of 2016. Eagerly awaiting any news on the follow-up album, Dreamland. Wild Belle has put out 2 singles from the LP, both of which show an evolution in their arrangement & production. What I anticipate is a record that is sure to be edgier, gritty, bigger & a little more rude.
Lead single Giving Up On You is a great example of the direction Wild Belle may take an how it differs from previously released material. Isles was smooth & playful. An album you can play to wind down over a nice spliff or cold beer. A summer hit.
The new song is a definite departure from what I knew Wild Belle to be. Routed in Rock & Funk more than the Reggae/Ska, the biggest difference in the sound has to be the vocal performance from Natalie. She is really playing with her pitch here, more than I knew she was capable of.
On Dream Land, Elliot Bergman said:
“I love our first record, but this feels like a big step forward for us, Natalie has grown a lot as a singer and songwriter. It feels more mature. There’s a lot of playful and youthful energy on the first record but there’s more edge. Sharper teeth.”
Dreamland is slated to be out this spring, though a concrete date of release has not been confirmed. In the meantime, dwelve into the new tracks & re-visit their first release Isles. Stay tuned for a feature on the new record.