Bella & Lily
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Bella & Lily

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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BELLA & LILY

Having your music compared to that of Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson and Lisa Loeb isn't so bad -- especially when you're still in high school. Despite their young ages, sisters Bella (eighteen) and Lily (fifteen) Ibur have become old hands at crafting catchy tunes. After winning a contest to perform at LouFest 2012, the duo received Kickstarter support to release a six-song EP last fall. The resulting poppy songs definitively prove that age is just a number. - Riverfront Times


Interview and performance on KSDK/NBC - KSDK-TV


Radio Interview on Y-98 morning show. - Y-98 Radio


Bella & Lily Ibur Set To Release First Album

Local teen sisters write and perform all of their own music

by Jaime Mowers

Read more: http://www.websterkirkwoodtimes.com/Articles-Features-i-2013-10-11-190401.114137-Bella-and-Lily-Ibur-Set-To-Release-First-Album.html%20-%20axzz2hQc3ScvT#ixzz36urQH1Gn
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Bella (left) and Lily Ibur practice their songs at their in-home studio in Richmond Heights. The teenagers are excited to release their first album, "Count To Ten," which was funded through a Kickstarter campaign. photo by Diana Linsley (click for larger version)

October 11, 2013
After launching a successful fundraising campaign, recent Webster Groves High School graduate Bella Ibur and her sister Lily spent three weeks in New York recording their music and are excited to release their first album.

Bella and Lily will launch their six-song CD, "Count To Ten," at a concert on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd. in the Loop. Doors open at 7 p.m., local band Clockwork will play at 8 p.m., and Bella and Lily will perform at 9 p.m. Cover is $5 and the show is for all ages.

The sisters have been musicians most of their lives. Bella, 18, started playing piano at age 6, and has been writing and playing her own music since fifth grade. She graduated from Webster Groves High School in May and was accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but deferred for a year to work on the album. Her younger sister, Lily, a 15-year-old Clayton High School sophomore, started playing the drums when she was 2 years old.

The girls write and perform all of their own music, which they describe as Indie pop/rock.

"The song and title track, 'Count To Ten' inspired the vibe for the album - fun and young," Bella said.

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Bella and Lily have both been recognized for their songwriting talents, garnering awards in statewide music composition competitions. They recorded their first single, "Prince Charming," in Nashville in 2011.

It's not surprising Bella and Lily are talented in the arts - it runs in the family. Their father, Ted Ibur, a longtime teacher at Steger Sixth Grade Center in the Webster Groves School District, is also a musician as well as an author. His book, "Teacher of the Year," was released in 2012. The girls' mother, Anne Ibur, is an artist who teaches at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. Several of her paintings adorn the halls of the family's Richmond Heights home.

Bella and Lily spend most of their time writing and recording music in their personal studio at home, but got an opportunity over the summer to record their first album in New York City at Waterfront Studios with Henry Hirsch, who has produced albums for popular musicians such as Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, Mick Jagger and others.

That opportunity was made possible by the successful Kickstarter campaign Bella and Lily launched in the spring of 2013, raising more than $10,000 in 30 days.

"What was amazing was it was not only our friends and family who donated, but people from all over the world who we didn't even know," Lily said.

The girls began collaborating with Hirsch before they went to New York. They sent him music, he critiqued it, they made changes and then sent it to him again. Bella and Lily then spent three weeks in July and August working 16-hour days recording with Hirsch.

"This has been our dream, but we didn't know if it would happen and we certainly didn't expect it to come so soon," Bella said as a smile broke across her face.

Lily echoed that sentiment, saying what a thrill it was to record with Hirsch. The album was initially recorded to a tape with the same board and machine that was used at Motown for The Jackson 5, The Supremes, Marvin Gay and others in the 1970s so it would have a retro vibe.

"It gave it a warm sound and it's all our natural voices," Bella said, referring to songs on "Count To Ten."

Hirsch said he was impressed with the girls' talent and expects to be working with them again in the future.

"Bella and Lily have both shown to have high-quality songwriting skills," Hirsch said. "As a producer for many years, my assessment is that they are both prolific way beyond their age. For me, it's exciting to help develop young talent. Their work ethic was put to the test and they stayed focused during the pre-production and recording production. They value the principle of not depending on computers for their recordings, but getting things right by performance. For today's computer generation, that's what really stands out for me."

Long before Bella and Lily stepped into Hirsch's recording studio, they started playing local gigs in St. Louis. A performance at the LouFest music festival in 2012 was when the sisters became a duo and started performing in front of large crowds. Another performance in 2012 for an audience of 20,000 people at Soldier's Memorial in downtown St. Louis for the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts got them even more excited, and playing at The Pageant at the beginning of this summer was even better.

"That had always been our dream place to play and we got to open for the Go-Go's," Bella said.

After putting in so much hard work on their album, Bella and Lily are excited to release it at their show on Friday, Oct. 11.

"It's been such a great process and we've grown so much," Lily said. "We're so excited to finally show people the project."

"Count To Ten" can be purchased in all digital formats including iTunes, Amazon and XBox. It is also available through the website www.bellaandlily.com. The CD can be purchased locally at Vintage Vinyl and Euclid Records.


Read more: http://www.websterkirkwoodtimes.com/Articles-Features-i-2013-10-11-190401.114137-Bella-and-Lily-Ibur-Set-To-Release-First-Album.html%20-%20axzz2hQc3ScvT#ixzz36urDOI00
Follow us: @WKTimes on Twitter | WebsterKirkwoodTimes on Facebook - Webster-Kirkwood Times


October 10, 2013 2:30 pm • By Kevin C. Johnson kjohnson@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8191

Bella & Lily, a sister act of Bella and Lily Ibur, has concocted the perfect minicollection of indie pop-rock songs on its debut album, “Count to Ten.” The duo will celebrate with a CD release party Friday night at the Duck Room.

The album is peppered with radio-friendly tunes — in the mode of Vanessa Carlton or Sara Bareilles — such as “What They Don’t Know,” “Messed Up Avenue” and “Circus.”

“Count to Ten” was partly funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $10,000 last spring. The album was produced by Henry Hirsch, who has worked with Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Lionel Richie and Stryper.

The Richmond Heights siblings — Lily is 15, and Bella is 18 — are relieved finally to see the finished product.

“It’s amazing,” Lily says. “It’s really exciting to be going on this journey with my sister, to see the progress we have made.”
She says “Count to Ten” is a fun album, and listeners of all ages will be able to relate to it. “That’s what I like about our audience,” Lily says. “It’s not specific to one group. It’s for everybody, and that’s what we were shooting for.”
For Bella, the album is a dream

come true.
“I never thought it would be able to happen,” she says. “But if you work really hard you can make it happen. Now we get to share our music with everyone.”
Bella says she and her sister wanted to keep “Count to Ten” fun and also as real as possible, which is one of the areas where producer Hirsch excelled. They recorded with him at Waterfront Studios in New York.

“He was honest — his style is he likes to keep things as natural as possible,” she says. “We used all natural voices, not electronic, and we recorded on an original Motown tape recorder.”
The duo recorded on the same board and 16-track tape machine used by the Jackson 5, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations.

Hirsch, who acted as much a teacher as a producer for Bella & Lily, said he was interested in working with the duo because of their desire to make real music — “not dependent on computers to tune and fix their recordings or concerts.”

“They both have a great natural songwriting talent that is showcased on their CD,” he says. “Both girls are hard workers, devoted to their music, and the future holds lots of promise.”
Bella & Lily write their own music and cite influences such as Fiona Apple, the Beatles, KT Tunstall, Regina Spektor, Local Natives and Amy Winehouse.
“We’re both strong in different areas,” Lily says. “And when we come together it’s like sister power.”

They started developing tunes together a few years ago. Originally, they’d write separately but later decided to bring it all together.

Bella has been writing since the fifth grade, though “they weren’t necessarily great songs,” she says. She’s enrolled at Berklee College of Music (though her enrollment was deferred so she could focus on the album) and says writing got her through tough times with bullies in school.
“When I experience something

great in my life, I always write about it,” she says.
Bella says “Chase the Moon,” written by Lily, is her favorite song on “Count to Ten.”

“It touched down on our journey together as sisters,” she says. “‘Chase the Moon’ is us chasing our dreams.”
Leading up to “Count to Ten,” the sisters have been performing around town, including at Plush, the Halo Bar, Lemmons, Llywelyn’s Pub and the Pageant, where the duo opened for the Go-Go’s.
“We got to dance with them,” Lily says. “Their manager invited us onstage (during ‘Cool Jerk’), but he had to teach us how to dance. We don’t know how to dance.” - St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Bella & Lily's 'Count To Ten'
Rating:StarStarStarStarStar
February 4, 2014
As far as local success stories go, Bella & Lily is pretty up there among their fellow Saint Louis musicians. They've performed at venues such as Blueberry Hill and The Pageant and have been a headlining act at LouFest. Their Kickstarter campaign successfully funded their debut album and then some. Their music producer, Henry Hirsch, is known for throwing his abilities behind such stars as Madonna and Lenny Kravitz. Now that their new Kickstarter-powered album "Count To Ten" has hit the streets, could it possibly live up to the expectations of a local fan base who were willing to throw money at something they hadn't heard first?

Bella & Lily have the grounded, deep vocals of Ingrid Michaelson, the atmospheric lyrics of Fiona Apple, and the instrumental aptitude of Sara Bareilles, but with a final product that is very much of their own unique making. Bella's vocals dominate the album as does her writing prowess - a majority of the six tracks on "Count To Ten" are written by her - but when Bella and Lily sing together, these sisters show they can harmonize with the best of them.

Although "Count To Ten" only has six tracks, the length of a standard EP rather than a full album, it has a depth and variety of sound that makes it sound fuller and more complete. The album opens with its titular track, which sets the stage for the other five tracks with its professional production levels, rich vocals, and Bella's ace piano skills. It's a cheerful pick-me-up sort of song that is destined for heavy radio play if it hasn't already, with an infectious, organic sounding hook that some artists only dream of creating.

The title track is followed by "What They Don't Know", and the album slows down for a song in which a girl revels in the fact that onlookers don't know that she has a boyfriend and her boyfriend is awesome. It's a shallow song on paper but when performed against Bella's moody piano, it succeeds. The opening lyrics have a coquettish flirtation to it that gives the song an underlying sexual boldness, declaring the singer incredible and sexy but very much off the market. It also has a great backing track from drummer Ernesto Karolys, which gives what could have been a softer song a needed spine for its tempo.

"Messed Up Avenue" is the album's most atmospheric song and one of the strongest. It's a song destined for listening to while walking down a quiet street at twilight, the only other sounds being the cicadas and the distant sounds of the city. It's also the first track to showcase Lily on acoustic guitar and makes me wonder what an acoustic cover of "Count To Ten" would have sounded like as a B-side.

"Circus" and "Letters To Nowhere" are a duology of songs on regret and love past their expiration date. "Circus" is a woman wondering if she can still reach out to her ex-lover or if it's too late to reconnect. It's opening is the best of the whole album, mixing samples of people at the circus with a fading in piano track that pulls listeners in completely. The only thing "Circus" suffers from is that it falls back upon the indie twee 'da da da' lyrics to fill in empty space, but luckily the vocals are strong enough to pull through these spots of mindless hipster scatting.

"Letters To Nowhere" is about wanting to reach out to someone but not being able to, whether it's because of self-doubt or not being sure where to send their letter. Naturally, as good songwriters do, said doubts get turned into a song. Aside from a few awkward breaking transitions from verse to chorus, it's a solid song that showcases Bella and Lily's harmony as well as Bella's piano.

We end with "Chase The Moon", which opens with Lily's acoustic guitar and both sisters voices singing in a sweet, mournful fashion that harkens back to late Elliott Smith, of all people. The song is a wandering fancy, two people drifting and searching for direction and looking beyond the Earth into the heavens for something better. As the ending cap of "Count To Ten", it pulls together the various themes of dreamy wandering and looking for something better, and its sparse use of instruments leads Bella and Lily's voices to shine through at their clearest.

There is something earnest about Bella & Lily's music. It never sounds overproduced or fake, there's no overwhelming digital trickery meant to gild the lily of their voices, and they actually play their own instruments. They may not be the next Tegan & Sara in terms of female duo singer/songwriters but the two groups wouldn't be strange bedfellows on a mix together.

If anything, Bella & Lily's first album proves that when Saint Louis music fans find a good thing, they support it fully. It's up to their fans now to support these songstress sisters all the way to the national stage.

Bella & Lily's "Count To Ten" can be purchased online at Amazon.com, iTunes, and Vintage Vinyl. The full album is currently streaming on Spotify. - The Examiner


Radio Interview - KWMU


Discography

Count To Ten is our brand new album that is released on October 11, 2013.

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Bio

Featuring a distinct style of their own, indie/pop artists Bella & Lilyhave a natural flair for creating songs laden with pop hooks, gorgeous vocal harmonies, and clever lyrics. The sisters’ youth belies their maturity as musicians and songwriters. Bella & Lily raised funds and fans from around the world with a successful Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2013. Months later, producer Henry Hirsch (Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, Mick Jagger) brought Bella & Lily to Waterfront Studios, his New York recording studio to make Count To Ten, a six-song EP. The album was originally recorded on the M1000, the same board and reel-to-reel used at Motown to record the Jackson 5, Supremes, and Marvin Gaye among many others. The Ibur sisters garnered considerable press leading up to the release of Count To Ten, officially launching at the nationally renowned Duck Room at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 11, 2013.

The Iburs started performing in public in early 2012. Bella Ibur sings lead and backing vocals, plays piano, guitar, and ukulele.  Lily Ibur also sings lead and backing vocals, plays guitar, drums, and mandolin. The Ibur sisters have a large and growing catalogue of songs, featuring an array of them in their live set.  The Bella & Lily band includes drummer, Jharis Yokely, and bassist Tony Zerbolio. Cellist, Jake Brookman, has been performing with the band since February. They are heading back to New York in mid-July to begin pre-production with Henry Hirsch at Waterfront Studios.

Count To Ten has been licensed to 14 different television programs, including MTV’s Real World and Teen Wolf. In 2014, “Chase The Moon,” written by Lily Ibur, finished 3rd in the International Songwriting Competition. Lily’s Messed Up Avenue and Bella’s Letters To Nowhere were both in the semi-finals of the competition. Over the past year, Bella & Lily have played many venues around St. Louis, honing their sound and songs, including a headlining show at the stunning Sheldon Concert Hall—considered one of the top three most acoustically perfect venues in the country. Bella & Lily performed at the ASCAP “New Faces” showcase in Nashville at The Basement on June 3. The Ibur sisters have also performed at other Nashville clubs including The Bluebird Cafe, The Commodore and Jed’s Bar & Grill. They performed at PrideFest, St. Louis, on June 28 and at Fair St. Louis on July 4 at Forest Park.  The band also played in Austin for the Red Gorilla Music Festival during the SXSW Music Conference at Amped! on Sixth Street this past March 15. Bella & Lily opened for American Idol winner, David Cook, this November, Caroline Glaser from The Voice and The Go-Go’s at St. Louis’s most prestigious music venue, The Pageant, and were invited back up on stage for “Cool Jerk.” 

Bella & Lily were one of six featured speakers at TEDx on December 5 discussing (and performing) launching a professional musical career. The band also played the main stage at the St. Louis Art Fair this past summer, considered one of the top five art fairs in the country. In 2012, the sisters won a slot as a duo to perform at LouFest, now one of the premier outdoor festivals, featuring national acts that included The Flaming Lips, Girl Talk, Phantogram and Dr. Dog. Bella & Lily also played numerous pre-shows before national acts such as Ingrid Michaelson, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Ellie Goulding, and Regina Spektor. The Ibur sisters made their first professional recording with the song, “Prince Charming” in Nashville in 2011 with producer Joe Baldridge featuring Sarah Buxton on background vocals and Nashville Session Guitarist of the Year, Tom Bukovac.