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By New Music

Rich beats, sultry vocals and no identity crisis in sight, BEL is a fully-realised artist on Melancholia

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“Melancholia is a body of work that I have been working on for almost a year. I wrote all the songs alone in my little home studio as I normally do. It will show you exactly who I am and what I stand for in a metaphorical fashion.”

Isabelle Rich, better known as BEL, is an accomplished young woman. At 20 years old, she has been profiled by I-D Magazine, performed at Falls Festival, and is set to release her debut EP this Friday to what will no doubt be rave reviews.

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BEL’s debut EP Melancholia is a powerful, professional, and passionate exercise in creative expression through shifting electronic music.

Melancholia, the EP in question, rests at six tracks long – short, sweet, and to the point. From a structural standpoint Melancholia is extremely well crafted and produced, particularly given that it is a debut EP.

There is a clear sense of direction and purpose in its production; despite being a newcomer to the scene BEL is suffering no confusion as to who she is or what she represents.

In terms of the EP itself, Melancholia is a series of indie electronic tracks that explore the darkness within ourselves. BEL’s vocals are of particular note as she is able to swap between sultry and commanding (Melancholia, Down to the Bone), and vulnerable (Own Home, Big Bad Beast) almost effortlessly.

The sheer strength and consistency of her vocal performances are worthy of particular praise.

The electronic beats of the tracks Melancholia and Own Home are dazzling and hypnotic and, when combined with her husky croon, the tracks become a transcendent experience.

Much like the Lars Von Trier film of the same name, the Melancholia EP paints an emotionally provocative interpretation of the unique power we gain when we embrace our inner darkness, turmoil, and sadness as a means of personal growth and understanding.

With assured lyrics, carefully calculated delivery, and catchy electronic beats, Melancholia suffers no crisis of identity. BEL has the confidence and artistic direction of a much more mature artist, and her debut EP possesses the professional production quality of a seasoned artisan rather than an emergent force.

Melancholia is out tomorrow.

February 9, 2017

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