The Belle Comedians
Fredericton, New Brunswick
It’s surprising that The Belle Comedians aren’t childhood friends or even brothers for that matter. The fellowship between these five musicians—Benjamin Ross [lead vocals, guitar], Scott Mallory [lead guitar, vocals], Dan Tweedie [keyboards, percussion], Willow Bell [bass, keyboards], Adam Guidry [drums, percussion]—feels as if it were forged ages ago. However, it dates back to just 2009.
While jamming at a party, Ben pulled Dan aside, barely knowing him, but sensing a creative kinship. “He felt some sort of musical connection with me,” says Dan. “There wasn’t much thought involved. We decided to start making music together. Before I knew it, we moved into my mom’s house for the summer and were recording one song after another.” Soon, they’d assembled the band’s full lineup and the tunes comprising their independent debut EP, 2011’s Without a Sound. The Fredericton, New Brunswick outfit went on to play some of Canada’s top festivals and showcases including Halifax Pop, North By Northeast, and Pop Montreal 2012. At the latter, Nettwerk co-founder Mark Jowett fell under their spell.
An artful amalgam of hypnotic melodies, spacey instrumentation, and folk heart, their inimitable style stood out. Soon after, the label partnered with the group to release 2013’s Charlotte EP. It’s here that The Belle Comedians come to life vividly. The first single “Rosy” opens up the gateway into a landscape of lush melodies, elegant lyrics, and ethereal hooks. “It took us about half-an-hour to lock that one in,” recalls Dan. “We came upon this fifties pop rock vibe that gives the song something special.” Ben adds, “The songs are emotional impressions I write words to. Like a lot of the other songs, ‘Rosy’ is about the way I see myself versus the way other people might see me. I explore the theme of depression and feeling different.”
The full collection is comprised of classic female names. The titles were inspired by older women whom Ben had known as a child, while “Charlotte” is the name of the street the band lived while writing the EP. It’s a nice touch that expands the world of The Belle Comedians. Ultimately, there’s an experience encoded within every song The Belle Comedians record, but it’s meant to be as personal as it was for the architects. They’re inviting the world to share in their bond—however they like. “I like the idea of a varied experience,” concludes Ben. “It’s something you can interpret in any way, and it’s correct. I want everyone to get their own feeling and meaning out of our music, while feeling like they’re a part of it with us.”