Indie rockers The Belle Game kick off the American leg of their tour at the Smiling Moose Tuesday. The five-piece band hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, where they were founded four years ago. They have released a pair of EPs since then, and earlier this year put out their first full-length album, the well-acclaimed Ritual Tradition Habit.
Most of the band's press refer to their sound as “dark pop.” This speaks more to the syrupy-sweet sounds of pop radio than anything sinister within The Belle Game, as Ritual Tradition Habit is about as dark as Neon Bible. And while Arcade Fire comparisons are certainly premature at this point, the band has managed to craft an distinctive soundscape that is consistent throughout the album. It usually takes a band at least an album or two to put together an original sound - if they manage to at all; maybe all bands should put out EPs before their first LP.
Andrea Lo's singing is the highlight of Ritual Tradition Habit. Her sultry voice swoons with emotion above horns, strings and guitar, and she should sound incredible in a snug venue like the Moose. It will also be interesting to hear how the band opens up on reverb-heavy tracks like “Keeps Me Up at Night” and “Wait Up for You.”
Some of the most compelling indie rock bands out there hail from Canada – Arcade Fire, Metric, Japandroids: The Belle Game might just have enough potential to join those ranks.
“Wait up for you”
What they're saying:
“The Belle Game´s debut album, Ritual Tradition Habit, begins with bashful guitars, a soft wave of cymbals, and a pair of ambiguous phrases. `Ritual´, a sweetly haunting soundscape, lasts only a few moments before fleshing out a procession of wild and witchy tunes, full of melancholy, mythology and symphonic power.” - Band's website
“Unlike many bands that are hyped and only go nowhere from there, the Belle Game has the chops and muscle in its music to make it something to revel in and be enamoured with...” - Popmatters
Show begins at 7pm with doors at 630. Tickets for the all ages show cost $10 and are available here. Or, if you prefer to try your luck, we are giving away a pair of tickets for the show. Simply email your name to email@example.com with “Belle Game” as the subject.
Opening for The Belle Game are fellow Vancouverites Bear Mountain. The band started as a one-man electronic music project until morphing into its present form.
- B. Conway