Friday, December 16, 2011

Behold The Belle Brigade

I don't know much about Belle Brigade, but this two piece are anything but a couple of Southern Belle's with guitars nor are they actually large enough to form a brigade. This two piece band kind of come off as a boy/girl version of Simon and Garfunkel; think folk music but with enough of a pop sensibility and edge about it that it never sounds like folk, and you kind of have where Belle Brigade are coming from. Their self-titled album is a strummy serenade of modified folk that it's ok to like...and coming from someone that dreads the very mention of the word folk, this is a good thing.

Belle Brigade is such a big sounding album that it's really hard to believe that it was put together by a duo. The songs here are so rich and so well put together that you'd swear there was five other band members making this all happen. While there are some intimate moments scattered throughout this record, the duo are clearly at their best when they let their pop sensibility run wild and allow their songs to become fully fledged pop monsters. Sure, they use acoustic guitars but they surround them with so many different sounds and textures, you can barely find the mopeyness in the mix.

Belle Brigade is a chipper record that takes the S&G template adds a girl/boy element to it, polishes it, adds some 21st century zing to it and comes up with a pretty good folk inflected pop/rock record. This is a record that's so far from being just another acoustic record it's not even fair to compare it to one. Melodically sharp, musically creative, and surprisingly cheerful Belle Brigade is the kind of thing that even people who shudder at the word acoustic will find themselves entertained by.

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