Belles Will Ring

Their new album will take you on a journey across the arid planes of rural Australia. As dramatic as the sweeping blue skies, the blood red earth and the luminous greens; the journey will contradict and intrigue you with its stunning imagery and cross dimensional capabilities.


Crystal Theatre is the second full-length album from Belles Will Ring. It is the accumulation of a long period of meaning making, technique building and pastiche all melded into one stunningly built piece of Australian music.


Hailing from the misty Blue Mountains of New South Wales, the group endeavoured to create an album that not only sounded amazing, but also stimulated the minds-eye in ways not seen in recent times.


Lead vocalist and writer, Liam Judson is now revelling in the albums conclusion. It had been a complicated process, always changing and re-inventing. However, as the metaphorical sun set over the horizon, the group kicked up their heels at a job well done and a genuinely unique album to add to the ever changing Australian music-scape.


Underestimating the acceptance of their fans and fellow musicians, Liam admitted the group suffered a small dose of cold feet. "We're thrilled with the response, especially as we weren't too sure if people would like it... We're really excited about playing it live."


After their Broader Than Broadway LP, which was initially going to be their second album. The group decided to start fresh with an album which reflected Belles Will Ring's second studio release. "We pulled the plug on it... The stuff was good; it got good reviews and all that. But it didn't feel like it was really it."


Starting again, Liam remembers the group developing a clear plan and approach toward producing an album which embodied inspiration from start to finish. "If we were going to start again from scratch to create a second album proper, then let's do it right," Liam recalled with great conviction.


Gathering together ideas of how it would sound not only musically but also thematically. The group endeavoured on a process which took them to a number of rural towns where inspiration came from the most common of daily occurrences.


People watching, aimless gazing and daydreaming away from the big smoke provided ample material for the layer upon layer of metaphor and mystery which eventuated.


"Moody," is one of the key words people have used when describing BWR and their music. Liam understands the perception, however attributes it to the initial idea behind the album, trying to create a sound-scape illustrating the spatial arrangement they were in.


"Our intentions aren't always going to be the same as what is received... Early on, what we were trying to do was bring on these themes, feelings and stories surrounding a small town and play them out like a road movie. Creating that kind of smouldering darkness and eeriness of the space; people have taken it as moody. It is kind of moody, I guess."


Writing for Crystal Theatre was not simply writing for musical intent. With the idea based around classic road movies like Easy Rider and one of Liam's personal favourites, Midnight Cowboy, Liam said they wrote as if they were writing for the silver screen.


"It is definitely a universal album; we weren't really trying to be too specific, although we were thinking Australian."


As a result each track inhibits a different section of the journey. From Come to the Village representing the first few steps, to the desperate cries of I Hear Your Voice on the Wind, through the upbeat Californian inspired Come North With Me Baby, Wow.


Fusing tastes from their psyche/rock roots with subtle country melodies, BWR have taken a solid step toward a more organic sound. This, Liam suggests, is not the only direction the group is taking and is a sign that they are not a one sound band.


Psychedelia is a term which Liam appreciates, however is adamant that the group does not consciously produce "Psychedelic Rock."


"A lot of those echoing guitars are more to try and create those sound pictures. To create the sound of dusk over the trees, smoke on the horizon and stuff like that... We are not thinking psychedelic, but a lot of people hear it that way. Mood Patterns, maybe. But with this one it was really was not on our minds."


Modestly denying his found abilities in composition and sound imagery, Liam admits that writing only occurs occasionally for him. The idea of writing music for the big screen is something he has thought could inhibit his future in music.


"It comes at the right time; it comes when you're in the right space and place. Although I wish I had the kind of lifestyle where I could sit down and write for a large portion of everyday," he said. "I'd love to write music for film or even for theatre. Being in a rock band is great, but maybe one day there won't be a rock band, but I still want to be writing music. Who knows, maybe one day."


A group of musical desperado's creating romantic and dramatic landscapes with their sound. Liam suggested the group's common attitude toward the big city scene sparks a healthy outlawlessness.


"I don't know why, they just don't want us in there," laughing at himself. "We kind of do feel like outsiders, it hasn't been deliberate, but then again we haven't tried to be a part of it all. We've just always done our own thing for better or for worse."


Since their inception, the group's interest in 60's inspired sounds encouraged them to create something newly heard within the homegrown music scene.


"In the beginning I was really trying to go for a Warhol-esque factory feel, but we kind of wimped out... I was fascinated with The Velvets when we started, how they could jump from menacing and dark to the most sublime, overtly pop music. That is really the key for us. I always get bored by bands who just play the same thing."


BWR's sweetness, Liam said is related to the menacing and dark they also try to play. "Like one of my favourite bands, The Free Design who are very sweet pop group from the sixties. Most people hear them and think they're a Christian pop group, but lyrically there is enough weirdness and sexual deviance that it really fascinates and inspires me."


If you sink yourself into a hammock and play Crystal Theatre in the background on a stifling afternoon, you too may find yourself trekking the vast landscapes of your mind with nothing more than a long stretch of road to guide you.


Whilst you are trekking down that long road, be sure to stop off at the Holbrook bakery where Liam says is going to be the first pit-stop their upcoming Walking Soul Tour which starts in Melbourne this Friday.

Follow The Dwarf on Facebook

Comments ()