Brother/sister duo Wild Belle (otherwise known as Elliot and Natalie Bergman) return with their second album, Dreamland, out now through Columbia Records/Sony Music Australia.
Hailing from the US, Wild Belle came to prominence in 2013 with their debut release Isles, introducing listeners to a combination of pop, reggae and West African influences. Their songs have featured in prominent US TV shows and films including Grey’s Anatomy, The Way Way Back and Pitch Perfect – something which has no doubt enhanced their popularity and led to the tens of thousands of fans the band now call their own on social media.
Despite their previous success, Dreamland was my first introduction to the band that is Wild Belle. Vocalist Natalie has a sweet, unassuming tone reminiscent of Julia Stone or Lissie but backed by something of a soul/R & B vibe rather than a more acoustic influence. There’s something earthy and hypnotising about the pair’s overall sound that is unexpected, pleasant and utterly unique. Giving Up on You is one of the album’s more upbeat song and sure to be a highlight for those who like their music with a bit of a poppy radio ready feel but it was by no means my favourite. Songs that really appealed to me was the ballad-esque It Was You (Baby Come Back to Me) – in which Natalie’s vocal range truly became evident – Our Love Will Survive and Throw Down Your Guns (the latter of which is perhaps the most experimental track of the lot) were winners for me.
Often with a voice that is a little on the softer side, it is my experience that production can drown out the purity within the sound, but happily, that is not the case with Dreamland. From album opener, Mississippi River to closer Rock N Roll Angel, Natalie’s vocals are never overlooked, often at the forefront of many of the album’s tracks as she casts her spell over the listener and draws them in, keeping them there for nearly 40 minutes and leaving them begging for more.
I didn’t really know what to expect when taking on this review, but after listening to Dreamland, I know Wild Belle’s music is something I want to hear more of. Just unusual enough to stand apart from the crowd, the album is a collection of eclectic tracks set to appeal to those who like their music with a side of chill. Perfect for a lazy Sunday around the house or an impromptu road trip.
Watch ‘Our Love Will Survive’ Music Video below…