Fear/Nothing by Belle GameRelease date: September 29, 2017
Label: Arts & Crafts
Belle Game is a four-piece dreampop band from Vancouver, Canada. With their recent release of their sophomore album, Fear/Nothing, Belle Game has definitely graduated from the indie/pop sound of their first release into an epic heavy and dream like sound in their second release. The album is full of layered sounds and the voice of Andrea Lo just powers through each track. There’s a fullness and raw energy to this album that is quite unique. I compare it to both M83 and another Canadian band, Broken Social Scene. So I wasn’t surprised when I later read, that along with Dave Hamelin, Kevin Drew also produced the album. Kevin Drew also contributes to the track ‘Spirit’ as guest vocalist.
The album starts with the track, ‘Shine’. It begins with a synth drone and a simple electronic beat. What seems to be a shimmery synth/organ melody is introduced and Andrea Lo starts on vocals. Her voice is vast and powerful, made dreamy with lots of reverb and echo. A great pause three-quarters of the way leads into a powerful epic hard hitting shift. The bass is nice and boomy. There are so many layers to the song that each time I listened to it, I heard a layer I had missed in the previous play. What a great track to start the album off.
The track ‘Spirit’ is another shimmering, chill-out track. The beats are infectious. The track is electric, weaving from melodic to heavy and back again. Andrea Lo’s voice is clear, powerful, raw, yet angelic. The expression in her voice is no holds barred, completely uninhibited. The video that accompanies this track is quite good. If you ride and identify as female, you’ll definitely enjoy it and appreciate the story line.
‘Yuh’ starts out old school with synth clap sounds then hits you with a boomy beat. It weaves in and out of lyrical melody to hard hitting instrumental throughout the whole track. It literally makes you move. It’s a great groove track, with great synth and guitar sounds and ever so lovely reverberated echo.
‘Bring Me’ takes on a more serious tone with heavier beats and lyrics. The lyrics speak to fear, tears, blame and shame. The way in which Lo sings “Fuck me the same” is guttural and she follows it with a soft “see what I can do” seems almost as a warning, fuck with me and we’ll see what happens. This is how I interpreted it and it was empowering.
The changes in the track ‘Low’ were quite stellar. The keys and guitar play well off each other and just past the midway mark, the beat speeds up. It’s done in such a way that it feels like a gust of wind came out of no where and gently swept you up then put you back down. As quickly as it came, it went.
The album continues on the path of great beats and synth sounds, epic guitar swells and Lo’s smooth and powerful vocals. I think my favorite track on the album is ‘Oh I’. I liked how the vocals were used as an instrument of sound expression and it spoke to the instrumentalist in me.
The band is currently on tour in North America and Europe, playing some of those shows with Broken Social Scene.