Reviews

Album Review: Bell The Band’s Self-Titled EP Is Humbling Folk Music

Folk music is ancient and international in its “working man” origins. From Greek legends to England’s urban tales, every country has its stories of the “little guy” that stood up to the “big guy”. Americana Folk is no different from message or imagination, but its guitar melodies have gained it global renown. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, etc, brought folk music to another, higher frame that made it bigger than ever before. Bell The Band’s self-titled EP continues their tradition of creating folk music that makes you feel enormous in how small you are to the “grand scheme” of life.

I am convinced that there is no other genre like folk music that brings you the humility of humanity. Bell The Band is a record that is five, humble songs on life’s beauty. The greatness of this album can be connected to several elements. For one, its soft, simple chord arrangements feel like a ride through the countryside. It is natural in its grace, and you can imagine the warm sun brightening over your skin and heart through the voice of Caitlin Marie Bell. Raised in Georgia but rediscovered as a singer in New York, Bell has brought the energy of both states in her vocals. She can bring the sweet welcome of the South and blend it with the wild bite of The City, which she shows through dynamic lyricism. Songs like “Whiskey Bottle” and “Oh My God” are tracks dedicated to the hope and forgiveness you need in life as you encounter issues and people whom turn your world upside down. Her messages are heartfelt because she vocally sounds like an angel strolling on a beach as she sings her thoughts. You can literally envision her staring at the beyond as she thinks in “My Little Town” and “Isn’t That Life” about the details of living that have molded her as an individual life upon this earth. 

The loveliness of Bell The Band is that it encompasses the quiet, rare instances we give ourselves in life to absorb what we are living through. While everyone claims like is a journey; there is still a discussion over whether it is one to overcome or get through. For Caitlin, her words about “getting by”. which is the essence of folk music. The genre, like the album, is dedicated to the things we do and the feelings we hold as we do them. Whether she is trying to survive, feel alive, or just be still for a moment, there is light quake in Caitlin’s voice that breaks through its ease to show that no matter how well you hold things together, sometimes, you can still feel like you are breaking. Hence, the album is like the random, gentle “Aha” moments that enter your mind when you are just sitting drinking your coffee, looking out the window as you take the bus to work, or lying in bed and staring at the ceiling wondering, “What is the point?”. This question is ambiguous and can be asked for so many situations, yet, it, usually, glides into your mind in times that are silent, pensive, and unexpected such as, the instances above. In many ways, Bell The Band sonically glides into your mind through the window that is your ears.

 

Often, the harshest challenges come in delicate packages like that four word question I mentioned, “What Is The Point?”. By the first song,”Love Before Me”, Bell The Band puts this question/ theme into the minds of listeners who will understand the pain of giving more to someone than what he or she gives back. The theme of giving more than receiving courses through the album and the wistful melodies that feel like you have found a ripe, juicy peach amidst a wild jungle. As you bite and receive the succulent flavors of that fruit, you look around and wonder how, from the madness of plush, green trees, was this bright, colorful fruit born. Like fruit in a jungle, we all can grow bright even in chaos. This metaphor resonates with Bell The Band as artists who show depth and intensity through gentility. To Buy Bell The Band’s Self-Titled EP Click Here.