I am always on the lookout for groups or bands with an interesting blend of sounds and BELLS ATLAS (formerly known as BELLS) absolutely fits the bill. I had the pleasure of listening to the band’s latest self titled EP over the past few days and I instantly wanted to listen to it all over again. Led by the silky smooth lead vocals of singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu, BELLS ATLAS creates a lively and unique listening experience full of Caribbean style melodies, tribal-like pounding rhythms and grooving bass/guitar dabbles of expressions. All of these fantastic qualities are front and center on their track “Loving You Down”, my favorite song on the EP.
The opening drum sequence on “Loving You Down” hits incredibly hard and gradually gives way to musical displays of raw emotion felt by anyone who has waded through the trials and tribulations of love. Told lyrically through the eyes of a woman who has lived a life full of memories, it’s easy to identify and relate to the intense feelings of hope, pain and sadness. No matter the emotion, Lawson-Ndu’s vocals are ear pleasing to say the least, giving off an enthralling soulful vibe similar to a Erykah Badu or a Joy Denalane number. “Loving You Down” is a beautifully made song filled with just enough appeal to get me reaching for the replay button each and every time.
The Oakland band is comprised of Doug Stuart(bass, vocals & percussion), Derek Barber(guitar & vocals), Geneva Harrison(drums, percussion & vocals) and the aforementioned lead singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu and their creative chemistry as is group is clearly evident in their music. BELLS ATLAS throw together a nice combination of textures and sounds very few bands can actually pull off these days. Be sure to check out their latest EP with an open mind and an open ear towards an amazingly vibrant experience!