I've written about Belle's Wake in the past, but only in passing. Since naming them one of 2008's most promising newcomers, I've neglected to mention them despite keeping tabs on their progress from afa When better to properly revisit them than as 2008 draws to a close?
So, who are they? A four-piece band whose style makes me think of ancient, abandoned castles and elegant rundown graveyards. 'Gothic' is a tragically overused word, thrown at everyone from Amy Lee to Amanda Palmer, but here it really is relevant. From the Macbeth-inspired "Toil and Trouble" to the haunting ghost story "Penelope", these songs always seem to touch on hints of the supernatural and the ghostly.
As for the music itself, it's sublime. The band's use of strings and piano are particularly well done, and both lead singers Andrew (who takes the lead on tracks like "Wild Creatures of Doubt") and Ashley ("Penelope" and "Persephone", as well as their cover of Joanna Newsome's "Balloons and Bridges") have extraordinary, distinctive voices.
The production isn't as glossy as much of the music making the rounds, mostly because this gang is still working on a smaller scale than the typical Hype Machine darlings, but they have something special. Though they haven't completed a full new release for 2008, a handful of strong tracks have been recorded and released that have got me pretty excited to hear more.
Belle's Wake recorded their The Nature of the Ground EP last year, which they've offered up for free download here, and are now working on The Riot Sessions.
Belle's Wake - Wild Creatures of Doubt [The Nature of the Ground EP, 2007]
Belle's Wake - Penelope [The Riot Sessions, 2007]
Belle's Wake - A Fevered Dream [The Riot Sessions, 2007]
2 weeks ago