Andrew Belle has an affinity for composing songs that bring together music, lyrics, and vocal inflection in intentional way to create a theme for each song on he records. It is the kind of good pop music that is so rare because of the thought and purpose that goes into the effort. His new album, The Ladder, is immediately accessible and full, creating a distinct mood throughout the album. The melodies are memorable and provide a perfect complement to the lyrical pictures. Belle describes the emotionally charged moments in life, while avoiding the despair and hopelessness that is so often prevalent, instead choosing often to focus on a sad, but reminiscent narrative. Which feels fresh juxtaposed against the inordinate amount of music belaboring the malice and over emotional mania left by the now hated former love. In Andrew Belle’s The Ladder the listener can reflect on the good times, while still being allowed to grieve what was lost or could have been. We had the opportunity to ask Andrew some questions about his career and his approach to music.
Could you share a little about your history as a musician?
It’s funny, I really don’t consider myself a musician but rather just a songwriter. I can play several instruments fairly competently (enough to write my songs), but I am much more a writer than a musician. I have a really great respect for people who are just devoted to their instrument – but my devotion is to my craft as a songwriter.
I played in and out of bands for most of my youth until my senior year of college when I decided to pursue a singer-songwriter career after graduation. I moved home to chicago in 2006, released my first ep in the fall of 2008, and then began recording my lp in the winter of 2009. That recording was called ‘The Ladder’ and was released in the winter of 2010 – I have been touring and promoting it ever since.
What do you offer in the crowded music scene that is different?
Hopefully a unique vocal style and a sense of thoughtfulness and effort in my lyrics.
How do you interpret the relationship between your faith and your art?
Well as a Christian my faith effects every aspect of my life, including my art. Although most of my music is about love lost, I try to do it from a hopeful point of view instead of a negative or angry place. That is not to say that I fall under the category of the typical christian artist, but rather I consider myself to be an artist that experiences the same struggles and triumphs as anyone else in the world – and so I describe those things in my songs from the perspective of someone who has a relatable sense of hope and a love.
Do you watch any of the shows your songs have been featured on?
Most of them but I have missed the last few because I have been traveling so much this year – but I am always incredibly flattered to be the soundtrack to any television show.
Is there an image on your new album, The Ladder, that you are especially excited about?
Well I really love how my producer was able to make the songs sound as catchy and hooky as they were written to be, but yet not over do it with the production. You wouldn’t be able to tell that it was all recorded in a basement in Nashville, but we still implemented enough lo-fi quirkiness to keep it up tempo and respectable.
Any side projects or special interests you have picked up along the way?
I’ve thought about doing some even quirkier stuff revolving around drum and bass. I’ve always liked hip hop and I think my vocal delivery shows that to a degree and so combining the two would be cool.
How can people keep up with you as you continue gain momentum behind the new album?
Facebook and Twitter are the best ways – I’m always updating and staying active on there! Just search ‘Andrew Belle’
Check out Andrew Belle’s new album The Ladder, and look for him creating that perfect moment in the background of all your favorite television shows in prime time.