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belle adair

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Belle Adair’s first record, The Brave and the Blue, will shipwreck your intellect. One minute the kettle’s ringing, or the light is changing red to green, but you’re gone. You’re swept away to this heart-wandering tiny universe with pedal steel swells and trumpet gulls, love lamented and comprehended. Life, examined and exalted.

The record is the wreck. The island. The raft. You? You’re the drifter. Listen.

“Be Brave” opens the record with two-and-a-half minutes of improvised ethereal ambience, a balm of an introduction to the motifs and instrumentation to come. The track is a reflection of Belle Adair songwriter and front man Matt Green’s admiration of ambient artists like Tim Hecker and Stars of the Lid. The instrumental elements of “Be Brave” undercurrent the first half of the record as the sound evolves, straddling folk and pop, Americana, indie-rock. The band draws from a wide palette of sounds: pedal steel, Rhodes, violin, brass, synthesizers, and guitar, with the acoustic often playing lead. And Green’s soulful vocals, hinting at British whispers and Southern lilts, steady yet brimming with the emotion of each song’s crux. Green, like you, wanders—between The Brave and the Blue—searching for significance in what we can withstand to lose and dare to hope. Much of The Brave and the Blue was imagined in the early mornings of a time of revival for Green, who returned home to Muscle Shoals, Ala., after his Birmingham apartment was destroyed in a fire, the last loss in a series of disappearances: work, love, happiness, reason.

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