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Bella Russia (Dan)

October 2, 2013

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I first wrote about Washington, DC’s Bella Russia when they played our SXSW party, DC vs. Austin. They were out on their first tour, and for a relatively new band, they were incredibly impressive. The talented trio is comprised of brothers Josh (drums) and Alex Braden (guitar), with Nathan Mitchell on bass. They are an avant-indie instrumental band that pushes boundaries and experiments with sound in a variety of ways. The end result is progressive music that’s not prog rock.

The group recently released a new four song EP, Epaulet (available now on Bandcamp). They celebrated the event by playing an eight-hour endurance performance at a DC art gallery. The new EP is very rhythmic, but not quite dance rock. It’s music you’ll want to listen to while running or at the gym. Or while at work. It’s just good stuff. As a fan of the DC music scene I was bummed when two of the city’s more experimental and gifted bands, Hume and Imperial China, called it quits. So, I’m happy to see Bella Russia is filling the void by creating its own brand of inventive art rock.

:Bella Russia – Marfa:

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America Hearts, Shark Week, Bella Russia (Dan)

February 13, 2013

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Hard to believe, but SXSW is just around the corner. Soon you’ll be roaming the mobbed streets going from show to show, drinking too much, eating way too many tacos, and slowly developing a debilitating case of the SXSW flu which will put you out of work for another week. There truly is no greater time of year than SXSW.

In preparation for the big week I’ve been scouting out bands from my old stomping grounds, Washington, DC. The city is chock full of great but little known bands, so I wanted to share a few so that you can get on their bandwagons early. First up is America Hearts which specializes in sparse but catchy indie-folk. They play songs that worm their way into your brain and have you humming throughout the day. Train Tracks illustrates songwriter Jess Matthews’ knack for simple but evocative lyrics. Listening to the song you can’t help but think of someone that you once loved “like the train loves the tracks.”

:America Hearts – Train Tracks:

I don’t know much about Shark Week other than they are an official SXSW selection and that they have an awesome name. They also have a undeniable surf rock meets garage rock sound and reports out of DC is they put on one hell of a live show. The band recently put out a three song EP that I’ve been listening to Spotify on a daily basis. I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.

:Shark Week – Get High:

Bella Russia is an avant-indie experimental instrumental which is set to release their debut EP this month. They recently contributed a track to Rainbow Arcade, a compilation in which each band involved only had three hours to record a song. Nocturne In Blue & Gold is the only song I’ve heard from the group, but based on this one track, I’m all in. I love a good instrumental band, especially one that pairs an amazing rhythm section with just the right amount of guitar work. Listen to the track and you realize these guys have serious potential. I’m very excited to hear they are making the trek to Texas for SXSW.

:Bella Russia – Nocturne In Blue And Gold:

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