Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Belle Brigade: "Just Because" (album review)

Spring must be getting close because I'm really starting to crave bright melodic indie pop.  Thankfully, LA's The Belle Brigade deliver their latest album, Just Because, on March 25th.  It's a record that should help melt away the winter blahs.

The album begins with the sunny, peppy chop-chop percussion of "Ashes".  The vocal harmonies of the sister-brother combination of Barb and Ethan Gruska are like a ray of light bringing a warming glow to songs like "When Everything Was What It Was" and "How I See It.

There's a more laid back side to the group, which comes through on the effortless "Miss You In My Life".  The slightly twee cut has a swirling Yo La Tengo-esque ambiance to it.

The indie pop gets a whole lot of geekiness injected into it with "Not the One You Want", which sounds heavily-influenced by Apples In Stereo.

A couple of tracks venture into different territory.  "Metropolis" is more subdued and mechanical, much like it's classic sci-fi film namesake.  On the other end of the spectrum is "Back Where You Began", an introspective bit of twang and harmony that concludes with a Waitsian breakdown.

Just Because gives you a real reason to want to kick up your heals, crack open a wobbly pop and enjoy the summer rays that are just around the corner...they are just around the corner right?

The Belle Brigade play Massey Hall in Toronto on June 8th & 9th with Ray LaMontagne.

Best tracks: "Ashes", "Miss You In My Life"

Track listing for Just Because:
  • Ashes
  • When Everything Was What It Was
  • Likely To Use Something
  • Be Like Him
  • Miss You In My Life
  • How I See It
  • Not the One You Want
  • Metropolis
  • Everything for a Stone
  • Back Where You Began

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