Film by Nicole Mackinlay-Hahn
Directed by Nicole Mackinlay-Hahn, the video features footage shot last spring in the African nation of Burkina Faso. The collaboration came about when Mackinlay-Hahn was introduced to Belle Mare’s music via producers Tom Elmhirst and Ben Baptie at Electric Lady Studios, where Belle Mare recorded. The result is, “a striking, sun-soaked visual collage of the landscapes, traditions and women that make up Burkina Faso’s notably progressive culture,” says T:Magazine.
Belle Mare is a collaboration between songwriters Amelia Bushell and Thomas Servidone. The duo met at an open mic in Brooklyn during the winter of 2012, and recorded an EP that was released the following year.
With the addition of Tara Rook (Keyboards), Rob Walbourne (Drums) and Gary Atturio (Bass), Belle Mare performed a live video session at Manhattan’s Electric Lady Studio, at which they caught the attention of Grammy-winner Tom Elmhirst and Ben Baptie.
Elmhirst offered the band his studio at Electric Lady to record with Baptie as producer, and began work on what will be their debut full-length album, with sessions spanning the better part of two years. Now set to arrive late summer 2016.
The first fruits of those sessions came to light last year with the singles, “Cicada”, released in February, which BULLETT called, “the most beautiful song of the month,” and “Dark Of My Evening” in November, a ‘Track of the Week’ by Interview Magazine. Belle Mare also collaborated with director Nicole Mackinlay Hahn on the video for “Cicada”, which premiered via The New York Times’ T Magazine last April, chronicling a stunning journey of the women of Burkina Faso.
While preserving the foundations of their songwriting and maintaining the stark minimalism of their previous work, Belle Mare’s first album is new territory for the band. Compositionally diverse arrangements, and instrumentation more in line with their live performances, resulted in a far more expansive sound. Although the results are dramatically different, the sincerity and fragility of Bushell’s voice resonates distinctly throughout the album, as do the themes of longing and the passage of time.
Prior to their full length, Belle Mare released the aforementioned EP, The Boat of the Fragile Mind in April of 2013. A collection of eight songs described as “spaciously eerie” by SPIN. The EP was written and recorded by the duo in the modest confines of Servidone’s Brooklyn apartment. It is a strikingly different experience from the Electric Lady recordings, conjuring “a sense of timeless unbeholden to a specific time.” (Eric Danton, Listen Dammit).
Vocals / Amelia Bushell
Guitar / Thomas Servidone
Keyboards / Tara Rook
Drums / Rob Walbourne
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