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Sound Off!: Bellman Barker

Hearkening back to those care-free days of sugary bubble-gum pop seems to be a pseudo-rage in recent years.

Drawing from that very same groundswell is DC’s Bellman Barker. Their EP, Anise & Anisette, is chock full of lofty, airy, fluffy-as-a-cloud vocals and plentiful backup vocal harmonization, supported by twangy, power-chording guitars, crashing and rolling drums, and an oft-walking, spry bass line.

It’s glorious pop from days of yore, wistful and achingly sweet without reaching saccharine over-saturation. Sunny and light, the perfect soundtrack to a summer picnic, some frolicking through grassy fields or rolling down idyllic hills of dandelions in a playful, romantic haze.

But don’t let all the sugar fool you. There are glimpses of a much more diverse musical language for the boys, from the straight-up garage jamming in the EP’s lead track “Charles Kil” to the brief-and-hushed, track-closing, MMJ-reminiscent country found in “Pockets,” the more modern pop-rock of “I Do I Do” and peeks at more sophisticated song structures beyond stringing together hook after admittedly killer hook.

They are making the trek up I-95 this Wednesday, May 28 to play the Sidebar with Among Wolves, Ryan Little of Tereu Tereu and Red Vines. This will be the penultimate stop on their spring, pared-down tour (B.B. will be playing only as a duo with Steve Dennis (keys/backing vox) and Aaron Estes (guitar/vox)). Get a sneak peek at what the performance will be like after the jump. And enjoy these two tracks, the bookends of their EP.

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MP3: Bellman Barker – Charles Kil

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

MP3: Bellman Barker – Anise & Anisette


Bellman Barker-Bronx Lullaby/Smuggler’s Waltz from J robinson on Vimeo.

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