Stripped them off their appropriation of reggae, sibling duo Elliot and Natalie Bergman essentially makes twee pop. Luckily, some novelty really does change up the game a bit. In an era when indie acts tend to adopt r’n’b and Atlantean trap-influenced drums, Wild Belle took a leftfield turn and decided to explore reggae. And until that catches up with the rest of the scene, they are a breath of fresh air.
Debut Isles opens with lead single ‘Keep You’, a broken hearted lullaby with ska’s trademark saxophones and Natalie’s twee-fied fake patois that evokes all the right moods. Elliot’s production is consistent, too consistent in fact that it gets same-ish after a while.
But then again, how far away can you stray away from sax when you are rooted in ska and reggae? Regardless, his arrangements on ‘Another Girl’ are just as much of a highlight as Nat’s voice. The male backing vocals add to the ominous tone set by the swamp stomp and organ, it’s almost convincingly New Orleans.
When the duo tries to skip their reggae embellishments, they falter a bit. ‘When It’s Over’ has Elliot taking vocal duties too, creating bad synthesised voice over twee pop meanderings. When Nat returns to mic, the damage’s done. In the end, Wild Belle isn’t the next buzz band, however they are a nice filler until the next big thing comes.
LISTEN TO: ‘Keep You’, ‘Another Girl’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Noosa, Pale Seas, Stay