Emily Bell
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Emily Bell

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
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"Love the retro-girl bop rockabilly trip of this Austin-based, ginger-haired flamethrower. She's got plenty of sass, snarl, and sex appeal." - The Huffington Post


Named #1 in Interrobang's review of all SXSW artist tracks.

“Emily Bell sounds like an old soul but her music is infused with youth.” – The Interrobang - TheInterrobang.com


When you listen to Emily Bell, it’s easy to imagine her strutting the stage à la Debbie Harry, pouring her heart into her vintage-inspired rock and roll. The local musician and songwriter releases her debut album, In Technicolor next month—and she couldn’t have picked a better title. Each song on the album packs a punch, full of Bell’s bright and soulful sounds, which are reminiscent both of KT Tunstall’s powerful voice and The Fratellis’ cheerful nod to old-school rock. “When I listen to a song, colors and scenery flood through my head,” she says. “That’s why music is so powerful. I hope that when people listen to my music, they get an intense, visceral experience.”

Bell isn’t kidding. In Technicolor opens with a sparkling gem of a debut, “Back to the Way I Was,” a raw, yet cheerful, 60s-esque track. Her vibrant and powerful aesthetic continues throughout the album, even in songs like “Flower Bed” that sample more from soul and Motown than Bell’s usual rock. At the same time, songs like “Pusher Girl” and “Sweet Crushed Angel” point to a kind of heartbreak and tenderness that often underlies’ the artist’s upbeat sound. In Technicolor is ultimately a promising debut album that reveals an artist at her best: fearless and with a timeless sound of her own.
- TRIBEZA Austin Magazine


Emily Bell - In Technicolor
Record Label: One-Eyed George Entertainment
Release Date: May 28, 2013

Some singers just have it. An innate confidence, a born charisma, a gift to perform. Color Austin, TX singer-songwriter Emily Bell in this same category. On her debut full-length In Technicolor she struts and belts like the best of them and casts a deep and wide impression, one that most likely will be felt in the months and years to come. In Technicolor opens with "Back to the Way It Was," a song with the same kind of hustle and bustle of KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." But where that song had a sense of pop gloss, Bell's number has sass and bluster and those two traits help bring it all the way home.

On the rockabilly "Hey Baby," she tackles rockabilly and mixes it with a cotton-candy sweetness. There's a decided old-school vibe and the song feels culled straight from the 1950s. Indubitably "Hey Baby," like much of Bell's music is a hip-shaking and beer-swilling good time. "Sweet Crushed Angel" borrows the same vibe as its predecessor but feels more restrained and relaxed. There's a slight tinge of Motown and doo-wop and a bubbly effervescence that would make Petula Clark blush. That same of effervescence is revisited in the sun-drenched, la-la-la laden "Flower Bed," which has as much sass and zest as anything released by any of her contemporaries. At this point on the disc, one can assuredly label Bell as a dynamo and also a throwback. Both of these things are exactly why she tugs at you to continue listening and segue on into the disc's second half.

That second half opens with the horn-fueled "Give Me Your Heart," another song that seems far more rooted in the days of yore than the days of now. While it's not nearly as strong as the rest of the disc it's a fine introduction to the bursting ballad "Once Forever," and arguably her best chance at crossover appeal. Equal parts transcendent and timeless, "Once Forever" is an absolute treasure and the very reason why Bell is worth your attention. If "Once Forever," doesn't convince you then the high energy stomper "Pusher Girl" will do the trick. The disc ends with the buoyant "Nobody Else But You" and the tongue-in-cheek "Love Don't Hold Your Breath." Though they pale in comparison to some of the earlier stuff on the LP, they still say and do more than many of her fellow Texas singer-songwriters.

Whether or not In Technicolor gains any traction remains to be seen, but with a disc this caliber under her belt, the sky is indeed the limit for Miss Bell. As auspicious, engaging and enjoyable as any debut released so far this year, In Technicolor is a titanic and triumphant effort that points towards the promise of something truly extraordinary.

Austin, you've done it again.

- Absolute Punk


Emily Bell - In Technicolor
Record Label: One-Eyed George Entertainment
Release Date: May 28, 2013

Some singers just have it. An innate confidence, a born charisma, a gift to perform. Color Austin, TX singer-songwriter Emily Bell in this same category. On her debut full-length In Technicolor she struts and belts like the best of them and casts a deep and wide impression, one that most likely will be felt in the months and years to come. In Technicolor opens with "Back to the Way It Was," a song with the same kind of hustle and bustle of KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree." But where that song had a sense of pop gloss, Bell's number has sass and bluster and those two traits help bring it all the way home.

On the rockabilly "Hey Baby," she tackles rockabilly and mixes it with a cotton-candy sweetness. There's a decided old-school vibe and the song feels culled straight from the 1950s. Indubitably "Hey Baby," like much of Bell's music is a hip-shaking and beer-swilling good time. "Sweet Crushed Angel" borrows the same vibe as its predecessor but feels more restrained and relaxed. There's a slight tinge of Motown and doo-wop and a bubbly effervescence that would make Petula Clark blush. That same of effervescence is revisited in the sun-drenched, la-la-la laden "Flower Bed," which has as much sass and zest as anything released by any of her contemporaries. At this point on the disc, one can assuredly label Bell as a dynamo and also a throwback. Both of these things are exactly why she tugs at you to continue listening and segue on into the disc's second half.

That second half opens with the horn-fueled "Give Me Your Heart," another song that seems far more rooted in the days of yore than the days of now. While it's not nearly as strong as the rest of the disc it's a fine introduction to the bursting ballad "Once Forever," and arguably her best chance at crossover appeal. Equal parts transcendent and timeless, "Once Forever" is an absolute treasure and the very reason why Bell is worth your attention. If "Once Forever," doesn't convince you then the high energy stomper "Pusher Girl" will do the trick. The disc ends with the buoyant "Nobody Else But You" and the tongue-in-cheek "Love Don't Hold Your Breath." Though they pale in comparison to some of the earlier stuff on the LP, they still say and do more than many of her fellow Texas singer-songwriters.

Whether or not In Technicolor gains any traction remains to be seen, but with a disc this caliber under her belt, the sky is indeed the limit for Miss Bell. As auspicious, engaging and enjoyable as any debut released so far this year, In Technicolor is a titanic and triumphant effort that points towards the promise of something truly extraordinary.

Austin, you've done it again.

- Absolute Punk


"The Austin-based performer is expressive, flirty and warm throughout "In Technicolor," a nine-song collection that swirls through rock, country, blue-eyed soul, British pop and other flavors with an effortless ease. It should stand tall as one of the year's strongest releases." - Houston Chronicle


"The Texas native rock ‘n’ roll beauty is the real deal." - Austin Man Magazine


"Bell's voice has a brassiness and bluesy ferocity that can eat you up and spit you out. She rivals the stylings of everyone from a jazzed-up vintage Tina Turner to growling it girl Grace Potter." - Houston Press


Check out the article with Houston Press! - Houston Press


Check out the article with Houston Press! - Houston Press


Check out my interview with Entertainment Tonight out at the Sunset Sessions. What an amazing time it was and we were so glad to share the experience with so many great people, new friends and ET! - Entertainment Tonight - ETOnline.com


The prominent Austin music blog, Sonic Vault, lists Emily bell as one of the top 25 bands in Austin, Texas.

“Blending elements of Psych, Honky Tonk, Motown and Blues, Emily Bell’s brand of pop has a timeless sound that doesn’t need to be overproduced to keep you listening.” – Sonic Vault Austin - SonicVaultAustin


Direct Current reviews Bell’s single “Back to the Way I Was” from the album In Technicolor, to be released May 2013.

“What if you started with a mid-’60s go-go girl group, but ditched the pop in favor of a dose of sassy roots rock and a whole lotta soul, and mixed in a little cabaret for the eyeballs? Austin’s Emily Bell was all that at the recent Sunset Sessions.” – Direct Current - Direct Current


Putting a here-and-now twist on classic girl-group rock & roll, Emily Bell is not so much retro as a classic in the making. - Mike Ethan Messick


Meet Emily Bell —a rootsy rock-n-roll songstress who followed her musical aspirations with one sweet-ass rambling voice — now she's Nancy Sinatra, Austin’s answer to relevant retro. She could’ve been the star act on a ’60s teenage television dance show, singing like a long-forgotten Marvelette. Her double-sided debut (on vinyl no less – available January 31 on iTunes) is quite stark with a fed up cheerfulness. Sexually playful numbers like “Pusher Girl,” and “Back To the Way I Was,” and odes like hey-baby-stay-baby-stay are what the Golden Age of girl group mania was defined by. It’s sentimental here but she also can belt out a deep drawl backed by, at times, bluesy stomp rock and syrupy sweet serenades. From first listen, it's clear how steeped she is in her parents' record collection or at least someone’s, and she sings about as pretty as she looks. Sing-a-longs will happen. Just go with it. (Hand claps included.) Have a listen here. - Sonya Harvey


Discography

Debut Full Length Record "In Technicolor"

"Back to the Way I Was/Pusher Girl" 7" vinyl and iTunes

"Back to the Way I Was"- radio single- AAA and CMJ, over 130 adds as of June 2013

Photos

Bio

Watching Emily Bell roll a South By Southwest crowd under her thumb within minutes of taking the stage, it’s evident she’s full of both sophisticated soul and strutting rock ’n’ roll. Raised in musical theater, tutored by seasoned R&B stars and degreed in rock, Bell is that rare performer who pours energy and passion all over the stage – and makes it look effortless.

On her debut album, In Technicolor, Bell corrals her Debbie Harry sass, Mick Jagger prowess and Diana Ross sophistication into nine cuts that cross tracks laid through Delta blues, ‘60s rock, girl-group glam and Motown power -- and whatever else strikes her considerable fancy. With John Evans, her producer, co-writer, guitarist and partner, Bell has crafted the “here I am” statement she’s been working toward for years. She likes to call it “technicolor rock ‘n’ soul.”

After she opened for Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll, he declared, “She’ll knock you down, then lick your wounds, burn up the stage and leave you begging for more.”

“The Voice” finalist/Cee-Lo protégé Nakia called her one of Austin’s best new talents, raving, “She must be possessed by a raw, electric demon singing with the voice of a heartbroken, fallen angel.”

Interrobang.com ranked Bell No. 1 on its list of the top five artists to watch at SXSW 2013 — after listening to 1,210 tracks from showcasing acts. Bell’s February showcase before industry decision-makers at record executive Michelle Clark’s renowned Sunset Sessions sparked immediate buzz — and AAA radio adds for her hot pop-soul single, “Back to the Way I Was.” Another single, the addictive “Hey Baby,” is getting nationwide distribution on the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau compilation, Austin Music, Volume 12.

Bell began performing in musicals at age 7, finding a nurturing home in community theater. She won a coveted musical-theater slot at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, but offstage, high school was tough. So she decided to graduate early, and was still finishing senior-year course work when she enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College.

Higher education also proved daunting, but New York gave Bell her first recording experience — and that led to her decision to focus on her main passion: music. Or, as she puts it, “To be a chick who wrote and sang my own music and created my own world.” Bell returned to Houston at 18 and got a job at Helios, a live music venue, where she got to study musicians nightly and pick up tricks of the trade.

“It was this really special place, just artists and insane music,” she recalls. “It was this old house where the Bohemians, the artists, the musicians all went. That’s where I fell in love with songwriting — and rock ‘n’ roll. I would sit in with different bands and cover songs from Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald to Blondie and Nirvana.”

With a powerful, sultry voice that evokes comparisons to artists as diverse as K.T. Tunstall, Girl in a Coma’s Nina Diaz and Ronnie Spector, and a stage presence that evokes both Jagger and Tina Turner, she quickly got noticed. One supporter helped her move to L.A. and record in Raphael Saadiq’s Burbank studio with former members of Tony! Toni! Toné! Those west-coast years produced some valuable friendships and songwriting skills, and strengthened her work ethic and determination, but also helped her realize that she needed to make her own art, her own way. The album’s first single, the upbeat “Back to The Way I Was,” expresses her need for authenticity and her efforts to get back to where she once belonged, so to speak — that innocent, purer place we all knew before we started carrying life’s scarred baggage.

“When something painful happens, there's a moment when you want to return to who you were just before all of it,” Bell explains. “The only way we can heal that desire is to push forward. I wanted the song to be a great driving song, because that sense of forward motion is what I want it to feel like. Getting back to a place you love, back to your core, who you really are, by moving ahead.”

For Bell, that meant returning to Houston to build new connections, re-establish old ones and work her way toward Austin. One of those old connections was Texas roots-rocker John Evans. He’d moved to Austin, but when he hit Houston for a gig, she stopped in, and the next thing she knew, they were writing together — and falling in love. In short order, she moved to Austin, and they started planning In Technicolor.

When it was time to record, she asked Evans to produce. But not in a studio.

“I wanted to live and breathe the experience and just have a really great time and make a record that we were in love with,” Bell says. They spent two months in a remote lake house her aunt and uncle owned — without TV, cell service or Internet access — with Grammy-winner Steve Christensen (Steve Earle’s Townes) engineering. The result is a set of winning tracks that convey Bell’s formidable vocal chops and t