Beady Belle Home

Genre-splicing music occurring in the cold north of Scandinavia is taking off, judging by the smooth harmonies of Norway's Beady Belle. Bugge Wesseltoft's label, Jazzlands, has been forging a jazz movement in Oslo's underground that naturally fosters talent of this nature. The Beady Belle duo, comprised of Beate Lech - a crystal blue-eyed goddess - with her friend Marisu Reksjo, have taken their collective experience as university music students into broader terrain. The result is a debut release that is promising. Singer and lyricist, Lech has a sultry and soulful voice further accentuated by odd lyrical tales of love and loss, all punctuated by double-bass twang and programming, courtesy of Wesseltoft and Reksjo, along with a host of Norwegian musicians. What makes the songs quirky is not just Lech's seductive voice but her penmanship, with its ironic twists. It is rather like the weird ruminations of that Scandinavian goddess Björk. Given the decidedly jazz inclination of all musicians involved, the songs fall back on arrangements that allude to their roots whilst also straddling beats and evoking a mood that falls somewhere between ambient down-tempo to house and drum & bass. The first single, "Ghosts," is a beautiful, melancholic number and "Drawback," with its simple tale of death due to obedience, is eerie. For a largely independent release co-ordinated entirely in the home studios and minds of its creators, this is brave first effort. If vocalist Beate Lech dared to venture into more experimental territory with her voice, it would make for truly memorable songs. (Jazzlands)