Oakland r&b/afropop band Bells Atlas will be releasing their new EP Salt and Soap on September 21st via Portland indie label Tender Loving Empire. Ahead of the release of their full-length The Mystic (out early 2019). The four-piece took to an unusual method of sampling in the writing process for their latest work, incorporating grainy phone recordings and spontaneity to create a cinematic, lo-fi, soulful, alternative r&b musical blend that is described as a mix of Little Dragon and Haitus Kaiyote. In other news, the band is also debuting their single “Downpour”. The band start their tour on October 19th in Oakland, CA.
The name SALT AND SOAP is inspired by cleansing rituals and preservation methods. When you’re not accustomed to releasing your most personal stories, the idea is to take a moment to prepare for this shift — this new way of being open. Bells Atlas’ new EP is a projection, a prayer out, and an invitation to their upcoming album, The Mystic. Salt and Soap EP arrives on September 18th via Tender Loving Empire.
Stumbling upon a new process for songwriting, the band took to an unusual method of sampling. Grainy phone recordings of the band’s drummer eventually became the bedrock for each song. Coming from a place of spontaneity and sometimes even humor, the aim developed into writing music at once cinematic, personal, and highlighting the casual wizardry of each member: Sandra Lawson-Ndu, Derek Barber, Geneva Harrison, and Doug Stuart. The result is a soulful, lo-fi, alternative r&b musical blend as fully immersive as it is envisioned — welcoming listeners of all stories and rituals
Bells Atlas on Salt and Soap
“Growing up it seemed like it was important to hold so many things as secrets, some of which are at this point laughable, some still heavier. These secrets often gave the sense that there was something wrong and unusual about me or that part of my life. They also gave the sense that if there was actually something difficult it wasn’t necessary to let anyone outside of it know.
This led to a lot of creative improvising and getting used to being a little less like myself.
Eventually I started to ask “what would be the consequence of sharing versus the weight of holding?”
The track Downpour is about at first getting used to living in a secret, but then facing a growing unease of having to continue to tuck yourself away.”
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