Since Belle Mare‘s birth in 2012, Amelia Bushell (vocals) and Thomas Servidone (guitar) have perfected the art of turning dream-pop into an ethereal experience. Their debut EP, The Boat Of The Fragile Mind, and album, Heaven Forget, were blissful marvels, filled with breathtaking moments. The pair along with Rob Walbourne (drums) and Sam Bartos (bass) extend their boundaries on their equally stunning sophomore EP, Liars.
Belle Mare’s trademark dreaminess remains, but its executed in different ways. The title track reveals a slightly more rock approach, as Servidone’s grizzled guitar pierces through the ambient layers. Bushell’s gorgeous vocals, meanwhile, have an added layer of urgency, as she proclaims she does “not tell lies” and has “no other life“. From her words to the multiple musical arcs, “Liars” is like an extravagant roller coaster.
The band turn to more of an Americana approach on the calming and serene “We Don’t Belong Together”. It’s a song made for quiet times and reminiscing about more innocent times. Despite Bushell’s story of two people going their separate ways, Belle Mare still make the experience sound dreamy and dazzling. The song’s antithesis is “We Can Wait For Love”, which is a return to the quintet’s widescreen approach. It is a ravishing display of gorgeous, summery dream-pop, and it is perfect for a summer-time romance soundtrack.
On “Spain”, however, Belle Mare take dream-pop to even greater blissful and exhilarating levels with Bushell’s levitating vocals and the band’s shimmering potency. Serviodone’s crystalline guitar is heart-racing while the synths, particularly in the latter half, are intoxicating. Bushell’s songwriting further elevates the track, as she offers words of encouragement to a friend who is down on his luck. She lushly tells him, “You’re a winner”, after her friend reveals a heartbreaking story to her. It’s an uplifting track that demonstrates the band’s complexity and vast talents.
The EP comes to a close with smile-inducing “Don’t Get Carry Away”. It airs with the jangle pop-rock of Melbourne’s Dick Diver mixed with Memoryhouse-esque dreaminess. The song’s brilliance lies in Belle Mare’s orchestration, whose steadily building, breathtaking qualities complements Bushell’s lyrics of the arrival of one’s first child. While a blissfulness fills the air, her words first unveil a slight uneasiness and nervousness, but then excitement overwhelms her. She repeats, “I can’t wait to bring you home”, and invite this new arrival into her life. It’s a fitting end to a splendid record, as not only does it offer a bit of hope and brightness but it also reflects how Belle Mare have grown in these six years. How this little band continues to find ways to dazzle and amaze.
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