Bells Bells Bells
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Bells Bells Bells

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Band Rock Folk

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"Album review"

"A Ghost Could Live Here," the title track of Bells Bells Bells' third album, has plenty of nooks for a haint to hide. One-time opera student Amandah Romick's voice swoops like a bat through the creaky mansion of sound built by Kevin Fassett's mood-swing guitar textures, Kat Paffett's eerie piano and Nick Kendus' muted martial drums. Elsewhere, the Philly band conjures moods most familiar to fans of Black Sabbath, Slumber Party and Edgar Allan Poe. Their touch can be as turbulent as a summer monsoon, as on "August Is a Month," or wearier than an anchored soul, like the fingerpicked guts of "Housekeeping by the Lake," which was inspired by Marilynne Robinson's 1980 novel Housekeeping. If you're afraid of the dark and can't bear to face a ghost alone, you can look for a hand to hold at Saturday's record release show. Just make sure it's attached to someone you can see. M.L. Fine The Philadelphia City Paper, February 2010 - The Philadelphia City Paper, February 2010


"Album review"

Journalists have a good time writing about local act Bells Bells Bells, mostly because their music could so easily have been written by a score composer of 70s exploitation and creep flicks. The oft-vocabulary in their reviews is the stuff music writers dream about using, if they only knew the right band. On January 30th, Bells Bells Bells held a CD release party at South Street's Tri Tone, showing off their dark sound, which, since the band's inception, has sunk deeper into the grave, emanating a pitch-black psych opera through songs like the Velvet Undergroundy "Little Hours" and "A Prophet On The Horizon," reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett era.” –Randy LoBasso, Origivation - Origivation


"Philly Album of the year contender"

Bells Bells Bells’ A Ghost Could Live Here is an early contender for Philly band album of the year. Especially if you’re into music that makes the hair on your neck stand up. Creepy good stuff, this-Brian McManus, The Philadelphia Weekly APRIL 27 2010 - Philadelphia Weekly


"Bells Bells Bells Wed., April 18, 8 p.m., $8, with King Kong and The Clamor, The Khyber, 56 S. Second St."

You're probably wondering about the name. Sure, carillons are great and all, but do you need three of 'em? We say you do. Think about it — "Bells" on its own would suggest the brand of New Age sedation heard at Renaissance faires or on predawn radio shows, whereas "Bells Bells" sounds like the laptop electronica outlet of some twitchy, tight-shirted indie kid. Either of those options would totally belie the raucous rock pedigree of this Philly quartet. Keyboardist Kat Paffett did time with shrieking stars An Albatross, while guitarist Kevin Fassett drums for mod rockers The Chance. In the reverence-to-history sense, Amandah Romick's breathy vocal vibrato shows she studied her Slits records well, and if that's still not enough justification for you, the band's propulsive tempos and densely affecting arrangements make a triad moniker absolutely necessary. Bells Bells Bells it's got to be, and if you don't agree, listen to "Spy Song" and see if you still feel like arguing.
Wed., April 18, 8 p.m., $8, with King Kong and The Clamor, The Khyber, 56 S. Second St., 215-238-5888, www.thekhyber.com - Philadelphia City Paper


"Bells Bells Bells"

“Murky and morbid, the Philly five-piece Bells Bells Bells is a slow-burning, ever-churning garage-psych band that would’ve made Edgar Allan Poe proud. Amandah Romick’s eerily blank intonations come drenched in alternating shades of garage-y keys, bleary shoegaze and Rickenbacker magic, always with hypnotic pacing. Following a self-titled debut and an odd appearance on NBC’s local morning show, the band is poised to release Throw Down Your Anchor, recorded by Isaac Betesh of fellow local outfit House of Fire. As promised on Bells Bells Bells’ MySpace blog and proven toward the end of “American Gothic,” the record taps into prog’s sinister side without overdoing it in the least.” Doug Wallen, Philadelphia Weekly 6/6/08
- Philadelphia Weekly


"Psych Folk Philly style"

Psych Folk Philly style. The Big Ugly chats with Bells Bells Bells leading lady Amandah Romick about the band's new record, summer reads, and pills. 1. Click here for their myspace, see below for the intrvw.

the Big Ugly: Rumor has it you’ve been in the studio recording new tracks. How’s the recording process treating you so far?

Amandah Romick: Recording is a wonderful and grueling process that is my favorite part about being in a band. It's all about time, keeping in it and preserving it. It's a way of defying mortality-preserving these few moments that will be repeated in some distant context of another human being's CD player, maybe miles and years away. It's literally the past imposing on the future. On a less metaphysical level, it is going well. Isaac Betesh always does an amazing job and this will be a great record if i can get over myself long enough to be content with it.

BU: Since “Throw Down Your Anchor” hit the shelves, how has your artistic vision for the band evolved?

AR: this record takes some of the ideas from throw down and takes pushes them farther. It’s darker, more nuanced and also, more fun. we really just went with what seemed a logical progression of musical maturity.

BU: Tell us about some of your new songs. What are they about? Are there any literary nuances or memoir-esque lines?

AR: Ha! Yes, one song was inspired by Marilyn Robinson's housekeeping. It’s about the danger of becoming to attached to normalcy, or the resistance to moving on. Another song was inspired by Melville's descriptions of the horizon in Moby Dick. As far as memoir-esque, the personal aspects of my lyrics are confined to my perspective and that's about it. I observe, but that's a lot. It’s probably exposes me more than if I wrote a song about my own experience or emotions.

BU: How’s your summer been so far? Any memorable moments?

AR: I've had such a great summer so far. I just got back from Los Angeles which was very fun. I needed a new perspective, some time away from my life. Saw some old friends, went hiking in the canyon. It’s made writing fun again.

BU: With the current economy and unemployment rate, has getting your music out to the masses gotten easier or harder?

AR: Harder, definitely. People aren't as willing to part with their money to see shows or buy CDs and our funds to travel are severely limited. But the only thing I can do is my best and hope it gets better?

BU: As a vocalist, do you feel that your voice has gotten stronger since your band’s full length debut?
AR: Yes and no. I went to college to study opera and dropped out. It's taken me a while to realize that my training and obsession with 'the voice as instrument' was really holding me back from expressing myself.

BU: With indie starlets like Jenny Lewis, Feist, and Zooey Deschanel, do you feel that the indie music scene does a better or worse job than the mainstream music scene when it comes to objectifying female artists?

AR: It's a different sort of objectification cultivated for a different audience. indie fans like their front women to be both delicate and strong, emotionally exposed. Mainstream fans want blatant sexuality and entertainment. But they both want to see their own idea of desirability represented in their front woman. Playing dress up and performing can be fun but eventually we're not going to be cute anymore and unfortunately that affects a band's popularity. That’s sad because some of the best male musicians really hit their stride later in life (like Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, etc), not as many women are given that opportunity. Marianne Faithful and PJ Harvey both put out amazing records within the past few years that hardly sold at all but were great.

BU: As you already know, one of my hugest vices is procrastination. What’s one of yours?
AR: I like pills.

BU: From what I recall, you’re a bit of a bookworm. Any recent reads we should check out?

AR: I am reading some heavy Early American Gothic texts for a research grant I received for the fall. Lippard, Rebecca Rush and Bird. They’re all based in Philadelphia and its fun to imagine our city inspiring these writers in the mid-19th century.

BU: Any major plans for the fall? If so, spill.

AR: hopefully finish this record and begin promoting it. play some shows here in Philly and NYC. Come see us! You'll dig the new record!
- The Big Ugly


Discography

Bells Bells Bells self titled debut, released 2005.
E.P. Throw Down Your Anchor, 2008 (Carolina in a Cornfield and American Gothic both in rotation on WPRB Princeton radio).
A Ghost Could Live Here LP, 2010

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Bio

Bells Bells Bells is a Philadelphia based band that has been showing real promise in terms of originality and development. Together for four years, the band has really developed their own point of view. Their last E.P., Throw Down Your Anchor was well recieved by the Philadelphia press. Doug Wallen, from The Philadelphia Weekly wrote, "Murky and morbid, the Philly five-piece Bells Bells Bells is a slow-burning, ever-churning garage-psych band that would’ve made Edgar Allan Poe proud. Amandah Romick’s eerily blank intonations come drenched in alternating shades of garage-y keys, bleary shoegaze and Rickenbacker magic, always with hypnotic pacing." (6/6/08). Currently the band is in the studio recording a full length album that takes the ideas on Throw Down Your Anchor and continues to evolve, moving toward an even more exciting sonic platform. The band is very literary, drawing inspiration from art and literature as well as the natural world around them. Their melancholy melodies and intricate arrangements are complemented by an energy that originates from their relationship as a band. Inspired by an array of musical genres (from 60's psyche and 70's post punk to 19th century opera and traditional folk ballads), their sound defies classification. The band is made up of a diverse group of musicians, including former members of the Three4Tens, An Alabatross, Lenola, and Ink & Dagger. Please give this E.P. a listen and a chance. I know that with the right team this band can and will contribute wonderful things to the world.