premiere: bells atlas’ “belly” is a perfectly crafted pop confection

February 21, 2019
279 Picks

Bells Atlas is one of those bands where I never know quite what to expect, but I’m always down for the ride. Their inimitable blend of soul vibes, futurist production and unexpectedly unforgettable melodies flexes and bends with each track; no two songs sound the same, but there’s always something ineffably Bells Atlasy about it. Their latest single “Belly,” from their forthcoming The Mystic, finds the band pushing into new territory, working a sci-fi into the already lush mix.

The band describes the new track as part of the larger narrative, saying “Belly is about giving into the fullness of a moment and a connection with someone new, and how sometimes even in the midst of that rush of attraction, you realize you’ve made yourself vulnerable to someone you barely know. Or maybe, you start creating stories about who the other person is or what they could be thinking. Sometimes you even start to wonder ‘Am I trippin or was their whole face different a minute ago? Why are they looking at me like that? Am I actually into this person? Why did I invite them into my space again?'” There’s a nervous energy to singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu’s vocals that cut against the insistent beat.



The video, directed by Max Taeuschel, is visually decadent like a perfectly balanced chocolate truffle. Set against a snow-strewn backdrop, it’s all bold pastels, fluid movement, and stark environments. Taeuschel describes the video as exploring “the all-too real awkwardness and distance felt before developing a sense of intimacy with someone else.” Awkwardness has never felt so inviting.

Stay tuned for The Mystic, out 4/19 on Tender Loving Empire, and catch Bells Atlas on the road this spring:

3.5 Providence, RI Columbus Theater
3.6 Portland ME Space Gallery
3.7 Lewiston, ME Bates College
3.8 Boston Museum of Fine Arts
3.9 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool
3.20 Boise, ID Downtown
3.23 Boise, ID Treefort Music Fest
3.24 Boise, ID Treefort Music Fest
5.11 Oakland, CA Starline Social Club