Bella Pretty Mess

Bella Pretty Mess
While the plethora of ’80s-tinged synth-pop bands keeps growing and growing, it’s always a promising sign when the good outweighs the bad. Vancouver’s Bella are part of the reason why this sub-genre continues to flourish and maintain its solidity. Comprised of a boy-girl-boy-girl team, the band overcame long distance blues, when the members decided on Van-city as a home, once Saskatoon and San Francisco threatened their future. Pretty Mess, their debut full-length, doesn’t concern itself with carbon copying any specific bands (unlike peers the Organ), using some retro electronic gadgets to assist their blissful, light guitar-strumming pop music. Opener "Go” bathes itself in synthetic delight, while a number of other songs ("Upstairs,” "Coast to Coast”) tip toe around more delicate pop arrangements. As timid as the album’s first half may seem, it doesn’t speak for the entire album. In the second half, Bella don’t hesitate to turn up their guitars on the noisy "Hooray for Andy Autio” and the bouncy feel-good hit, "Summer.” Opting not to rely on their Casios, Bella find themselves in a good niche, avoiding any simple categorisation, other than the one of a wonderfully enjoyable band with a keen ear for melody. (Hideout)