Monday, January 11, 2010

Introducing...Christopher Bell Covers America

I am late to the Christopher Bell party in large part due to my own laziness. His label sent me a copy of the "Covers EP" back in October and I am just now getting around to it. For someone who thinks of himself as a music snob this is frankly unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated. After a couple of spins, I can honestly say that he has real potential.

Bell's sound is in line with ELLIOT SMITH, BON IVER, and SUFJAN STEVENS. Like those other artists, Bell uses very little instrumentation and often sings in a hushed tone that belies the power of his ability. Given that these songs are covers he is essentially interpreting another's words and music but it doesn't feel that way. These songs sound like his own (this may be due to the relative obscurity of the source material). There's a streak of Americana Folk that runs throughout the set that binds it together, whether it is the plaintive "Robert L. Sinclaire" or the Odd Frank Black cover "All My Ghosts" redone as an ole timey porch sing along.

Bell's music has the same feel of a Norah Jones in many ways; of this time and yet very much influenced by another. His sound is carefully crafted to recall a long lost age of simple singing and songs that had room to breath and improvisation to occur. One gets the idea that played live, his music never is the same twice. Which is why I think he is someone worth keeping an eye on.

(mp3) Christopher Bell -- All My Ghosts

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