A heartfelt message to Mint Records:
Yes, it seems I thank this particular group of stellar human beings an awful lot, but it’s always with good reason. They rock. They’re incredibly generous and friendly. And this time it’s because they’ve sent us the new Bella album for review, and it’s great! What more could humble music fans hope for in this life?
Bella is a new addition to the long and distinguished list of awesome Mint Records artists, and with this record as notification, this West Coast trio is here to stay. What fun!
First off, it must be noted that Bella has it all wrong. They’ve named their fantastic new album No One Will Know, but once word gets out about this infectious gem of a record, the opposite will be true, and Everyone Will Know. Do you suppose that Bella knew this already, and the title is secretly ironic? Now there’s food for thought…
This records makes you want to dance. It makes you dream of flourescent jelly shoes, crimped (and really big) hair, and pop radio circa 1985. I’ll be honest and say that I was a fan of such music back in the day (I was ten, and therefore very impressionable, in 1984), but over time (and thanks to grunge, metal and punk) I’ve definitely gotten away from that decade and its synth-ey sweet sounds. I’ve even expressed concern, in these pages, about the seeming new wave of New Wave that is taking over the sounds coming from the kids’ iPods. I just feel that it’s been done once before, and in retrospect it maybe should have stayed that way.
But that was before I heard Bella. Sure, they kinda sound like Tegan And Sara singing songs that Feist wrote for Franz Ferdinand, but there’s more to it than that, too. It’s got this edge of madness to it, and an irrepressible energy. The lyrics are smart, the band is tighter than is probably fair to the rest of us, and the sound is so crystal clear that I can only imagine how completely fun and amazing seeing this band in concert would be. They should totally tour with big mirror balls to hang above the crowd.
Another thing that stands out for me is that all of the music from when I was a kid was really thin-sounding in comparison to this record. I don’t know if that’s just an improvement in recording processes in the past two decades or not, but Bella sounds like it has a lot more heft to it, and I mean that in a really good way. It’s light and breezy while still thumping very pleasingly.
There isn’t a bad song here, and when these cool sounds come from your speakers you won’t be able to keep from clapping your hands, tapping your toes, nodding your head or outright climbing on the coffee table and shakin’ what you got.
This is a must-have. Tell ’em the KMA sent you.
01 Give It A Night
02 Stay Here
03 No One Will Know
04 Don’t Sleep Alone
05 Ocean Or A Lakeshore
06 Settle Down
07 For The Last Time
09 Unless You’re Golden
11 We Said Goodbye
12 Didn’t Mean To Break Our Love