Three years after the release of its debut album, Girls Underground, Oakland indie folk duo Eight Belles returns with a self-titled follow-up on Saint Rose Records, and we are beyond stoked to premiere it today. The band will celebrate the release with a performance at The Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on Dec. 10 with Cave Clove and The Young Elders.
Singer Jessi Phillips, guitarist Henry Aloysius Nagle, and engineer Ross Harris (Emily Jane White) tracked the album over three years, enlisting a cadre of prominent Bay Area musicians including singer/ pianist Joel Robinow (Once and Future Band, Howlin’ Rain), drummer Shaun Lowecki (Painted Palms), bassist Jonathan Kirchner (Con Brio), and singer Katie Colver (Cave Clove). The result is a collection of highly personal material with more daring and ambitious arrangements than those on Girls Underground.
“I just expected more from myself lyrically this time around. I think with the first record I was just figuring out what I was doing. I’m really proud of the lyrics on this record,” says Phillips.
“The last record definitely had kind of a sonic theme to it, whereas this record is more of a collection of pop songs that are fairly independent of each other,” says Nagle. “We really approached each song individually, using the most appropriate players for each one.”
The songs may have a great deal of sonic variance, but they are joined by a common theme — the mining of the past for ideas of how to proceed in the future. The songs are born of time when Phillips was “ruminating over