Soulful noise pop, inspired, propellent psych R&B… Trying to nail down the sound of Bells Atlas is a bit like narrating the inner workings of a kaleidoscope – where it’s more about tripping out than nailing it down.
A surreal blend of r&b, psychedelia, jazz, and pop, rooted in the cultural bellwether of Oakland, CA, Bells Atlas has supported a number of international artists and shared the stage with acts such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Badbadnotgood, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, W. Kamau Bell, Angélique Kidjo and more. They have also been making a name for themselves nationally as the touring band for NPR’s Snap Judgment since 2016, and recently wrapped up a sold-out tour supporting Bermuda Triangle, side-project of Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard.
Channeling at once the ramshackle lo-fi beats of Tune-Yards and the sighing lullabies of Sade, Bells is like the passing bubbles of an unknown aquatic life-form, music percolates from depths untaken, playing in a deep blue pool of life, death and the fluid in-between.
Bells Atlas returns from a one year retreat with the driving drums of “Be Brave,” the band is back again to remind us that the sensitive, too, can go to war. Directed by the San Francisco-based filmmaker Dominic Mercurio, their music video for “Be Brave” lands Bells Atlas singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu in a strange desert landscape, and out of water. After succumbing to dehydration, she is abducted by strange beings that perform a ritual to revive her…with one major consequence.
There is a limited edition 10” vinyl pressing of “Be Brave” paired with two previously released singles and an instrumental to kick off an east coast summer tour.
These are just the first few salutations in a big year ahead for Bells Atlas – with a full length LP and accompanying EP of all-original material prepped for release and club dates throughout the US.