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Album Review: Wild Belle – Isles

Chicago: The Windy City. Not the most likely breeding ground for a dub-pop sensation, but Wild Belle are here to prove that it doesn’t matter if the winter temperatures are practically polar and the weather is particularly gusty, you can still bring a burst of Jamaican sunshine into the good state of Illinois, and elsewhere for that matter. Natalie and Elliott Bergman, a brother-sister duo, hailing from Chicago and sporting some slightly disconcerting on-record sibling chemistry, make easygoing pop music with a reggae tinge that is way more effective than a light box when it comes to treating your SAD.

‘Keep You’, the lead single from Isles, has been out there for a while, but if you were keen for them to keep it coming strong, then the rest of the album will not be a disappointment. Their sound is a blend of dreamy synth, muffled vocals and reggae style back-beats with a smattering of ska-style brass.  If Wild Belle can’t put a smile on your face with a track like ‘June’, then I don’t mean to alarm you, but you may need to be medicated.

‘Love Like This’ has the same languorous feel as their first single, with vocals smooth and sultry, while ‘Happy Home’ keeps the dub feel but adds some chaotic dashes of distorted guitar and splash cymbal to tap into some dark domestic discontent.  ‘Just Another Girl’ is also more than slightly self-deprecating – so perhaps they are not quite so beaming and joyful as they might first appear, but that only makes them more interesting.  In fact, this band is just like a manic pixie dream girl: seemingly sunny on the outside but with a dark twisted centre that just makes you love her even more.

- Kate Travers

One Comment on “Album Review: Wild Belle – Isles”

  • Ross CMR March 5th, 2013 10:52 pm

    Great review for a great album! Im stuck watching the video for “its too Late” and trust me im not complaining. see for yourself http://smarturl.it/WBTooLateVEVO

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