Watch! Belleruche – Stormbird. Bonus: Read About Their Media Album Launch at The Queen of Hoxton
North Londoners, Belleruche, are preparing to release their fourth full length studio album. The album is called Rollerchain and is out on May 7, just in time for some summer lovin’. The first single off of the album is the slow yet frantic Stormbird, which you can (and should) check out below.
Belleruche – Stormbird
Last night, PeteHatesMusic were invited to a media album launch of Rollerchain at the Queen of Hoxton in London. Not that we needed any motivation to attend (shhh, don’t tell the promoters) but did I mention there were free drinks?!?! Clearly, the promoters don’t know about our love of beer. Unfortunately, everyone else loves beer as much as we do, and they ran out of tickets before we had one drop of free beer – ahhhhhh! Had I known, I would’ve had 6 beers before the show instead of just 3. Oh well.
Belleruche have made great strides since their first album. They initially sold albums through their own label and also sold them at gigs. This all changed when they signed with Tru Thoughts, who are releasing their new album. The band also found fame by landing their song, Northern Girls, in a Mercedes Benz commercial in the UK.
With more and more attention on the band, would this change their musical direction on Rollerchain? That’s actually a good interview question for the band; let me copy that down. That was also a question that lead singer Kathrin deBoer answered right away, coming on stage and saying that they have just recorded a new album, which is different, and they hope we like it.
The first song had DJ Modest messing about with some cool drum and string effects, as the song built to a strong finish. Another new song followed, which had a brief false start. The third song was the first single, Stormbird, with Kathrin noting that the album is very much a studio album, and half the fun and challenge is to try and translate it live.
Kathrin then busted out an ebow for the 4th song. Unfortunately at this point, I noticed that the sound was the stage was pretty quiet, perhaps due to a lack of proper live drums, and that the crowd was chattering NON-STOP, and actually drowned out most of the band, for this and several songs. Not sure why you’d go to a gig to talk the entire time.
The fifth song had a fuzzy bass, and vocal effects that made it sound like Kathrin was singing underwater. A cool effect, no doubt, but the gimmick was lost over the course of the entire song.
The 6th song got the crowd’s attention, with its distorted and broken rhythms fighting to get in, leading to an upbeat overall song. Having never been to the Queen of Hoxton before, I don’t know how it is usually for gigs. The room is a weird sort of L-shaped room, and having tables at the back made for lots of talking, with the crowd treating Belleruche (wrongly) as background music. The people behind me were so annoyed, they actually left.
5 more songs were played, before Belleruche closed the set after 11 songs. The previously chatty crowd now wanted an encore, for which Belleruche kindly obliged. They launched into Fuzz Face, from their 270 Stories album, and then closed the night with a track from The Liberty EP, called 56% Proof.
Based on the live debut of the tracks, Rollerchain sounds somewhat similar to albums past, and that’s not to say they are doing the same old thing. With a band as eclectic as Belleruche, who have elements of electronica, jazz, blues, trip hop, and soul in their music, the formula is not one that is easily repeated. The album appears to have a mix of time signatures and tempos, with sound layers fighting to be the dominant one, making for some cool effects. Fans of the band should like the fourth album from Belleruche.