Q&A With Emily Bell Post-Kali Release

Now that the Emily Bell’s highly anticipated release of Kali has come and gone, and the after party has subsided, we spoke to the very busy rocker on how she feels about the EP.

How are you finding the reception of Kali?
Pretty great I think! I can only really gauge the reception by the energy at the show and playing this music live has been the most fun I’ve ever had on stage. Honestly, any reaction is welcome. Music is so personal and subjective, so it’s almost impossible for me to judge it one way or another. When you pour your heart out and leave it on the table, all bets are off!

Has this differed much to your first release?
Yeah in a lot of ways. The first record was recorded live more, a lot of the production and style happened in the moment. With Kali, I took a much different approach. I spent a lot of time crafting the parts and style. The guys and I got down to the brass tacks and just demoed and played and played and demoed until we got to where we wanted to be. I got to a place of trusting myself more creatively and was able to put a lot more of myself into the details.


How was the Kali release show at 3Ten ACL Live?
Magical. If I could have kissed everyone there on the mouth I would have.

How was recording the EP, any hiccups?
It was awesome. The studio is my favorite place to be. Sometimes the hiccups are the best part, it’s when you get to problem solve and get really creative. I did leave a pot of rice on the counter long enough for it to turn into a science experiment though. None of us wanted to deal with it so we just let it sit there and watched it like a petri dish through the glass top. A friend stopped by the studio and was thoroughly disturbed so he took it outside and hosed it down. I guess the point being, the studio has a way of warping your mind.

Why did you choose these songs for this EP?
They were what happened when I got down to writing. These were the first songs I wrote after we lost my partner’s daughter to a chronic disorder. I had these ideas of radical change before she suddenly passed and when she did, I knew that I had to completely throw myself into the deep end because that’s what she would have done and what she would have wanted me to do. It took me a while to reckon with everything and write again, but eventually, I was ready. I wanted it to feel triumphant and not defeating. Feminist anthems while still reckoning with pain and loss.

Which is your favorite song, and why?
I have a special relationship with all of them of course. But I guess right now if I had to name one, I would say Goddess of Destruction. There’s a lot packed into that song. But in short, it’s about embracing anger, that anger can be a very useful catalyst for change. And where we are at today, there are just so many reasons to be angry. It is so necessary that we recognize the anger and not let it fester, but channel it into action.

It is so important that we continue to point out that what is happening in our country right now is not right, that it is putting our most vulnerable citizens in danger. Millions of people marched on January 22nd 2017 because we are very angry at this administration’s treatment of women, the LGBTQ community, the sick, the poor, immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans. So I’ll choose that song because it’s a reminder that it’s not healthy to allow anger to fester nor is it healthy to ignore it. The only thing do is to use it to ignite continued change for good.

What are your plans for the future?
To keep getting better at what I do. I’m always going to want to top what I just did. So that’s what I plan to do.

What would you tell any young girl who wants to be in your position?
Listen to your inner voice. Take your time and enjoy the journey. Stay hungry for knowledge. There is always something new to learn. Never give your power away to anyone and never compromise when it comes to your art and your image. You are more powerful and capable than you might think. It’s a hard truth that young women are very vulnerable in this business. We have to be very selective with the people we keep around us and who we take advice from. Work with other women, and support other female artists, they are your greatest allies. Take care of your voice. Singers don’t get to put their vocal cords in a case after the show. Your body is your instrument, love it and protect it!

Her EP is available to stream and buy on her website http://www.emilybell.com

Twitter @EmilyBellMusic
Insta @EmilyBellMusic

Author: Megan Matthews


Naomi Wachira Shares Her Love of Diversity with New Single “Beautifully Human”

Naomi Wachira is aware of the negativity around the World; from the constant attacks on her homeland of Kenya, to the police brutality sweeping across her new home in the states, she makes no mistake of hiding her disdain. Throughout her archive, you’ll find her contempt for xenophobia as she analyzes the beauty of human diversity. Her 2014 self-titled debut started this trend for her, deploring her frustration, with the folk twist on reggae that she carried on into her 2015 acoustic EP ‘I am Because You Are’.

Named best folk singer by Seattle Weekly, in 2013, Wachira’s now sophomore album – ‘Songs of Lament’ – again finds the relaxed reggae beat as she illustrates the hopelessness found in today’s society, with an all-inclusive promise of diversity’s virtue. Kenyan at heart and Seattle-residing, she features both of these aspects of herself in the song released so far – ‘Beautifully Human’ – recorded at the famous London Bridge studio in Washington.

With such a heavy topic, Wachira employs a pretty happy beat to accompany her sunny voice, buoyant atop of the inexplicably ignorant hatred that fuelled this song. You’d almost be fooled to think this is just another catchy folk song until her radiant tones call forward the goose bumps on your arms and send a shiver down your spine. She leaves her message reverberating in your mind, and her honest vocals a soft, comforting memory.
The album, she says, was “born out of the many tragic losses we’ve witnessed globally”, as she uses her vexation to bring the survivors together. She begins the song with a heartbreakingly simple notion, “I wish the World could believe, that my brothers and my sisters, we are meant to be.”

“We are human too”, she sings, abhorring the need to prove who she is, and why she is, with her lyrics against the beautifully antithetical blithe melody. Wachira laces each song with her hope for a better future and her positivity beams through the darkness of society’s fragmentation.

Yet another beautiful portrayal of the dystopian we live in can be found on her 2015 EP ‘I am Because You Are’ ‘Up In Flames’. You can find it on her SoundCloud.

Twitter: @imanafricangirl
Instagram: @imanafricangirl

Author: Megan Matthews

Emily Bell & The Talkbacks Release The Goddess of Destruction With ‘Kali’ EP

Emily Bell & The Talkbacks recently released their EP Kali, three years after their 2014 ‘In Technicolor’ debut. Once, Austin’s secret, Bell’s music is making its way across the country and into the hearts of everybody who hears this five-track album.

“Can’t Talk Back” opens the EP, with an edgy mixture of rhythmic speaking and tones that ring in your ears afterward. This one’s a power ballad with attitude – it’s definitely no Bryan Adams. The Talkbacks hold all the energy of that garage-rock band that’s always ‘waking up the neighbors’, but with all the skill of well-honed professionals. There’s no doubt who’s in charge here and it’s definitely Bell, in this easy to listen to tune, vamped up with synthesizers.

Bell has a message she wants the world to know; empowerment is not something to be afraid of. She is, and she wants every female to be, with all proceeds of her April 29th Official Release Party being donated to The Girls Empowerment Network. Bell believes in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself and her voice will pick you back up from the cold floor after a hard week.

This message is reverberated throughout the EP, with the first song released “Goddess of Destruction” taking a much softer approach. Her accent is prominent as she calls out for ‘Kali’, sweet and honest. But the song turns choppy and turbulent; like gritty coffee beans not quite stirred into your morning coffee, bitter and interesting enough to glue you to it, as the sweetness warms your stomach. “We’ll all be bigger than the dream,” she promises. She’s leading a crowd and we can’t help but follow. This is a protest and I hear what she’s saying; nothing can stop you now.

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Known for blazing stages and rock ‘n’ roll style, she’s the epitome of women in contemporary rock. A modern day female Nikki Sixx, but with much more tension and vulnerability. She refuses to lose her femininity and as you make your way through the EP, she shows this with pride, stronger with the stain of her pain.

The final song on this album will leave you craving more. “Crashing Hearts” is vulnerable and soulful, a side to Emily that shows you that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, it makes you feel like you know her. She sings softly “one day together, and the next day alone”, captioning a feeling of heartbreak in this song. She speaks metaphorically, depicting it as a car crash; brutal, violent and fatal, yet oddly so beautiful. She shows that you can be strong and still have fears too.

She captions every doubt and every painful step, exposing her weaknesses, but she doesn’t care and nor will you. Vulnerable or not, she’s empowered and she is in charge.

Emily Bell and The Talkbacks Official Kali Release Party will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 3TEN Austin City Limits Live. All proceeds will be donated to The Girls Empowerment Network. Tickets available here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1442483

Can’t Talk Back
Girls That Never Die
Goddess of Destruction
Crashing Hearts

Twitter @EmilyBellMusic
Insta @EmilyBellMusic

Author: Megan Matthews

Brielle Von Hugel talks ‘Naked’ and her tour in Europe

You might recognize Brielle Von Hugel’s face, but maybe you’re not sure where from. The 22-year-old Staten-Island-Native was all over your TV screens back when she was just 16 years old, or maybe you’ll just recognize her voice. Her angelic hue isn’t something easily forgotten.

An American-Idol-veteran, dips in pitch transitioning from low to high define her songs – showcasing the talent that reaches far beyond her years. You’ll find yourself questioning her age as you question why she didn’t win.

Currently, on tour across Europe, Brielle has taken to the wrong side of the road in a double-decker tour bus.

“[The bus has] been our home! I sleep in a bunk every night and we drive from venue to venue. Some drives are 4 hours long, some are 12. It’s crazy, it’s fun, it’s thrilling! What a life!” she gushed. “My family misses me a lot, but they’re ecstatic for me. Especially, my mom, she’s my best friend! “

She’s spent the past six years running around, chasing her dreams and it seems she finally caught up with them. With her recent single ‘Naked’ soaring past one million listens on Spotify, she’s showing no plans of slowing down.
“I have future plans to release an original album and go on my own headlining tour! Yay!”


Girlish, and growing in confidence, Brielle’s love for music has taken her far from Staten Island.

“It seriously is a dream come true. I first auditioned for Idol when I was 16, I then got cut and my passion and determination only grew stronger. So, I decided to go back the following year and made it to the Top 12 girls, at 17 years old! Now I’m touring the World and singing all over, that’s all I ever wanted to do. It’s glorious.”

“From the audition stage to the live show, I grew so much! I learned a lot about myself, the music business and about my artistry. I’m super grateful for the experience.” Comparing the youthful, gentle voice she had to the cascading unapologetic ripples of well-honed talent that she’s grown into, ‘Naked’ tells you a lot about her and her journey. Soft to start, with a definite emotional crescendo, she doesn’t hide the ocean of her voice behind technology.

“I want my lyrics and my voice to be heard by the heart. My single, Naked, is just so raw and real and I’m in love with the message. It’s about learning to love yourself and being comfortable in your own skin.”

“I’ve grown a lot in the past few months.” She shares. “On our day off in Antwerp, Belgium, I actually decided to get a small tattoo of a lotus flower on my wrist. I love the meaning behind it. It’s a symbol of growth and I thought it would be perfect to get, this year.”

“The sky is the limit. I’m passionate, I’m hungry and I’m ready for it!”
Listen out for Brielle’s silken tones in her latest release, ‘Stronger’, with B.O.B – available on her SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/peak-hour-music-official/brielle-von-hugel-stronger).




Author: Megan Matthews
Photo credit: F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Records