When Andrew Belle released the EP All Those Pretty Lights in 2008, we were introduced to someone adept at both lyrical honesty and Andrew Belle[/caption]enjoyable musicality. With the release of The Ladder in 2010, Belle demonstrated that he was capable not only of writing and recording a full-length album, but of delivering a cohesive work which showcased his expanding depth as an artist. Now, two years and one EP (and one remix album) later, fans are eagerly anticipating the August drop of Belle’s latest work. They won’t be disappointed.
Andrew Belle[/caption]With the full-length Black Bear, Andrew Belle proves that his music can sound current while still standing out. Gone is the folk-rock sound that dominated The Ladder. Instead, of acoustic guitars and mandolin, layers of synth pads and electronic beats provide the foundation for this album. But despite the changes, Belle has managed to make this recording feel like the obvious next step in his musical journey. He has deftly prevented Black Bear from coming across as the derailment it could have been; rather, Bear causes the listener to re-hear Belle’s previous songs as the leading tones they always were.
Overall, Black Bear is a strong release for Belle. Tracks like “Details” and “The Enemy” have the potential to win him appreciation from a completely new group of fans, while long-time fans will appreciate songs like “I Won’t Fight It” (which is sure to end up on a soundtrack eventually) and the earwig-worthy “Wants What It Wants”. Although there aren’t any videos up yet for tracks from Black Bear, fans can subscribe to the Andrew Belle YouTube station to see them as soon as they are posted (as well as the tons of other great videos already available on his channel).
In the meantime, why not enjoy “In My Veins (feat. Erin McCarley)” below? I also highly recommend that you look into one of Andrew Belle’s side projects, Ten Out of Tenn, which is a collaboration of some of the best independent artists currently in Nashville. You can learn more about the group on their website, or get an introduction from the video below.