March 7, 2008
Rarely does a band’s name seek to so completely describe its music. Bella Noir’s brand is dark and beautiful; it is atmospheric and heavily ambient with dim melodies of vampiric proportions. Vampiric in the sense that Bella Noir creates an intoxicating hybridity of sensual romanticism and tremolotic shades. The distorted reverberations blend every peak and valley, allowing coherence but refusing pomp and excess. The heavy set bass lines are the progeny of The Cure’s 1981 Faith, while rooted in gothic psychedelia, skin deep there is a sense of pop that prevents Premonitions from falling victim to obscurity.
Premonitions is a relatively short EP consisting of 6 songs totaling 22 minutes. This brevity owes impart to the extension’s fifth track Bellow, which clocks in at 42 seconds and merely serves as an intro to the closer Distraction. The EP is extraordinarily even in mood. I have not heard a record so flauntingly androgynous since Elliot’s 2004 sea change Song in the Air. As sad as I was to see Elliot go, I am thrilled to see Bella Noir emerge. Their lack of irony is a much needed contribution to Brooklyn’s independent music scene.
Incidentally, Bella Noir will play R Bar in Manhattan July 9th at 8 PM.