Introducing: Bel Heir
Bel Heir are poised to put Philadelphia on the musical map like never before and shake up the entire music industry. Now I know these are both very bold statements - but trust me I don't mince words.
Bel Heir may have only released their first track in July, but the quartet is the outgrowth of over six years of making music. Each member has been involved in making music and part of several semi-successful groups, honing their craft and perfecting their sound along the way. We had a little chat with bassist Paul and he gave a little insight to the origin of Bel Heir, "about a year ago while trying to establish ourself as published song writers we fell into the Bel Heir sound... We really fell in love with the songs we were writing and decided to make it an official group." In a studio outside of Philly Bel Heir was born out of over a year of collaborating, writing and recording new music.
The time Bel Heir has spent on their sound yielded mesmerizing results that immediately brings to mind words like lush, unexpected, captivating, mysterious and effortless. That last word is a key to their sound, it all just feels easy and perfectly natural, like there is no other sound Bel Heir should, or even could be making. Bel Heir & their sound are one and the same. The delicate keys and synth samples that balance with haunting guitars and powerful percussion with nods to hip-hop, pop-noir and vintage rock are all part of one organism that is the perfect partner for Patrick's stirring vocals that are heavy with inventive lyrical wit.
The ease of their sound is thanks in large part to their skill as musicians. Paul explains "everyone sort of does a ton of different things". Lead singer Patrick also plays guitar and keys, while Ian can tackle samples, keys, & guitar, the expansive percussion comes from Mark and those bold bass lines are thanks to Paul, along with keys. Their wide range of individual talent provides each one an understanding of how the music is created and the confidence of knowing just what is possible from their band mates.
Spending over a year in the studio left Bel Heir with an enormous amount of songs that had to be released. This is where that shaking up the music industry bit comes into play. Paul told us, "we needed to find a way to get the music out....we are all huge music fans and audiophiles and talked about how cool it would be to just constantly be getting new music from our favorite artists...some times artists put out a full record and it gets stagnant..we wanted to change that. We decide to release the songs as singles on the first Tuesday of every month. Each single has an A-side and a B-side like traditional 45s. The A-side is normally going to be the big anthemic "radio-single" showcasing our song writing, while the Bs will be a bit more vibey and "arty"." Starting in July Bel Heir did just that with the release of "The Game" and its b-side "This Is Life".
Given the change in the music buying landscape and the unprecedented shift in the way fans connect and consume music this novel idea reinvents a tactic first used over 50 years ago, I mean if it worked for Beatles. Robyn proved that LP's have given way to EP's, it was only a matter of time before EP's had to give way to something more consistent to keep fan engrossed and excited with the anticipation of getting new music regularly. Singles reign in the digital world, so double sided singles may prove to be the perfect vehicle to draw in new fans and keep long time ones returning. In the end their focus is "Staying true to Bel Heir, connecting with listeners and fans, so we can give them what they want, great music." So far they have exceeded any expectations and the music is more than great.