Bella White — Just Like Leaving (Sept. 25, 2020) ⊆⊕⊇ White, narozená v Albertě, ale s ‚Blue Ridge kořeny‘, byla vychována na bluegrassové stravě Billa Monroea a Doc Watsona, než se vydala do Bostonu a ponořila se do místní akustické scény. Nyní, v pouhých dvaceti a se sídlem v Nashvillu, debutuje s impozantní devítiskladbovou deskou Just Like Leaving, zahajující uptempem v zahajující „Gutted“ — písni o tom, že si přejete, abyste nebyli v žádné situaci, ve které se ocitnete uvíznuti („Takže jsem se napila s nadějí, že se ztratím / protože když se stále ztrácíš, je těžké vidět své výhry / pak ale vyhořím a jsem zase otupělá“), ale uvědomila si, že tomu říkají zavazadlo, protože ho nosí s sebou. Viz výstižnou recenzi od Mike Daviese (níže).
⊆⊕⊇ Silný debut vzrušujícího nového talentu. Pořád roste ocenění tradiční hudby ovlivněné bluegrassem, zejména mezi mladšími posluchači a myslím si, že Bella White může být tou pravou osobou na správném místě ve správný čas — vzrušující mladou umělkyní, jejíž talent by ji měl dostat daleko. “Sublime Appalachian heartbreak.” — Rolling Stone Country
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Album release: September 25, 2020
Record Label: own label
1. Gutted 4:06
2. Not To Blame 2:55
3. Do You Think About Me At All 3:16
4. Just Like Leaving 3:26
5. The Hand Of Your Raising 2:40
6. Just Unwanted 3:13
7. Broke (When I Realized) 3:38
8. All I Gave To You 3:28
9. Now She Knows What It Feels Like 2:36
Rick Bayles ⌊November 4, 2020⌋ Score: 8/10
⊆⊕⊇ It’s always a pleasure to hear a young artist tackle a traditional musical style with confidence and ability and that’s exactly what you get on this debut album from singer and songwriter Bella White. Listening to this excellent recording, you’re instantly transported to the Appalachian mountains, hearing White’s keening voice drifting through on a backing of fiddles and mandolins — so it comes as a bit of a surprise to discover that she hales from Calgary, Canada; just around three thousand miles from the heart of the Appalachian region!
⊆⊕⊇ …The album grabs you right from the opening strains of the first track, ‘Gutted’, a traditional sounding, bluegrass influenced song but with a very modern approach to the lyrics; “I was gutted, I felt soft/ So I took to drinking with the hopes of getting lost./For when you’re always losing it’s hard to see your wins,/then I start using and I’m numb again”. This is the refreshing approach White brings to her music, a traditional sound but with a young, modern approach to the storytelling. It’s a very winning combination.
⊆⊕⊇ The album loosely chronicles White’s personal coming of age experiences; early love affairs and breakups, moving out from the family home, starting to experience the world as an adult, realising that breakups can be a beginning rather than just an end. Her songs are open and honest and the simple, traditional style arrangements unfussy but glaring in their strength and subtlety. There’s so much to be enjoyed on this album. There’s also a decent variation in tempo that sometimes belies the sentiments being expressed. ‘Not to Blame’ has quite a jaunty style while dealing with what sounds like a quite brutal rejection, “I may as well have been a winding road/ You walked on me just the same./ Like a little girl with wide eyes and curls I didn’t know it was just a game”. The slight mismatch of tempo with mood is clever because it draws you into the song and makes you listen. For all the apparent simplicity of the songs and their arrangements, you quickly realise there’s a lot more going on in this album than you might realise at first listen. It really is an album that reveals more the more you delve into it.
⊆⊕⊇ It’s well worth drawing attention to the excellent band she has with her. These musicians are, apparently, frequent collaborators with White and that comes through in the precision of the playing and the understanding of the songs. The band features Reed Stutz on Mandolin, Julian Pinnelli on Fiddle and Alan Mackie on Bass, with Stutz and Pinnelli also providing some fine vocal harmonies. White herself contributes some nice guitar work to back her voice, which is quite an instrument in its own right. All this is extremely well pulled together by producer, Patrick M’Gonigle, himself a noted fiddle player, which may explain why he has such a good feel for this music.
⊆⊕⊇ As debut albums go, it’s hard to fault ‘Just Like Leaving’ as a first release. Maybe it would benefit from a little more variation in tempo and a bit more variety in song subjects, but both of those will come with time. Bella White is an artist with a big future ahead of her and you can only see her getting better in all respects — there’s a serious depth of talent here. — AmericanaUK ⊆⊕⊇ https://americana-uk.com/