He’s a little bit reggae… She’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll… One of the most buzzworthy bands in the country, Chicago’s Wild Belle (siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman) have combined dub and jazz with elements of disco and chillwave to create a sound that’s all their own.
Natalie’s soulful, smoky vocals weave in and out of icy synths and chirping guitars, giving the music a nice glow that recalls Fleetwood Mac and the complex pop of the 1970s. That familiarity, combined with an innovative and educated approach to songwriting, has already helped Wild Belle catch on with audiences everywhere. It certainly didn’t hurt that the hardworking band hit the road with fellow LouFest artist Toro y Moi, played an insane number of SXSW showcases and made their TV debut on Conan.
Their debut album, Isles, has only been out for a few months and is picking up serious steam based on its radio-ready singles “Keep You” and “It’s Too Late.” Intended to be a diverse collection of songs (the concept is for each track to be its own unique “isle”), it manages to cover the whole spectrum of rock music. Glossy pop fits in perfectly alongside slow-burning dub and reggae while Elliot turns in funky saxophone solos straight out of the Hall & Oates playbook. Self-produced by the band, the songs sound hazy and are drenched in reverb, making them essential to any summer playlist.
Seeing Wild Belle close the BMI Stage is definitely going to be a highlight of this year’s LouFest. Until then, enjoy their debut album, Isles, on Spotify.