The Belle Game
Gig Seeker Pro

The Belle Game

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


Vancouver dark-pop quintet the Belle Game introduce "River" as a fairly standard and agreeable piece of indie rock, with chalky guitars that could be taken from the past decade of Walkmen records, the anachronistic hollowed-out reverb and waltz-time balladry of Cults, the plainspoken longing of Best Coast. The band sounds like they're trying to sneak up on you, or at least blend in enough to be sync-able.
Frontwoman Andrea Lo, however is not trying to sneak up on you, nor is she trying to blend in. "River" is her showcase, as it should be; her voice is an expansive, powerful instrument that demands to be noticed, driving the melody of "River" and turning a simple song of simple sentiments into showstopping, extroverted piece of musical theater. - Pitchfork


Consider the following: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Grizzly Bear. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to assume you either like these bands or at least are willing to acknowledge them as the ruling class of no-qualifiers indie rock. Now, what if you saw that list on someone’s dating profile? Would you have a positive impression of this person? Conversely, what if a band used that list to point out their primary influences? Would you have a negative impression of this band? Would you consider them frontrunners or unambitious or lacking curiosity? They should at least be able to play the game and acknowledge Berlin-era Bowie or mid-90s Mariah Carey, right? The Belle Game aren’t trying to fool anyone: those are the influences slapped on their Facebook page and Ritual Tradition Habit proudly manifests the effect those bands had on the Vancouver quintet. But while Belle Game have taken a lot of cues from the sound of those bands, more importantly, they aspire to the ideal of being a critical and popular darling without sounding cool-- Ritual is unerringly tuneful and tasteful, with confident vocals, meticulous craftsmanship and no fear of being seen as middlebrow. In short, it could’ve come out any time in the past decade and sound just as good as it does in 2013.
The irony is that Ritual is something of a grower as a result of being so familiar. You might think you have “River” and “Wait Up For You” pegged within their first minute. Free of context, the choruses broad pleas based on their titles, “I’ve been your river since we were kids,” “I’ll wait up for you.” “River” begins with a waltz-timed flurry of chalkdust guitars that have to be from a Walkmen song you can’t quite recall; the intro of “Wait Up For You” is so reminiscent of Fleet Foxes’ “Ragged Wood” that you might just sing the “whoooooooa!” harmonies out of habit.
Any skepticism or accusations of theft are done away with pretty quickly, as singer Andrea Lo is the opposite of a “secret weapon," more of a demonstration of just how rare a commanding, powerful vocal presence is in this realm. It isn’t long before “River” and “Wait Up For You” generate enough velocity for liftoff, and the choruses don’t explode so much as slowly levitate and expand with Lo’s vocals guiding the way. No amount of artfully scuffed filters or small-screen production touches can hide that Lo’s a performer through and through, someone who could just as easily have been an R&B powerhouse or at least doing some off Broadway material.
For all the sonic immediacy, it doesn’t take much digging to get to Ritual’s dark roots. The chorus of “River” uses its titular metaphor in a disturbing way-- Lo empathizes with a place where bodies and secrets are dumped. “Wait Up For You” might sound like breathless infatuation, but the narrator appears to be at the mercy of a drunk lover or an absentee father, where the waiting is futile and endless. Lo’s lyrics are in such plainspoken language and the music so instantly accessible that you can easily miss Ritual dealing entirely in the wages of sin: prostitution, abuse, heartbreak, the list goes on. It’s hardly alone in its occasional Fleetwood Mac worship, but more than most bands, Belle Game zeroes in on the codependency and desperation in the lyrics.
Still, nearly everything here gives you a brief glimpse of who they could possibly open for in the upcoming months. As with “River” and “Wait Up For You”, many songs here could pass for a populist indie version of what the Field did on From Here We Go Sublime, in reverse; the “reveal” of the source material happens at the beginning rather than the end. You’ll catch the clacking rhythms and broad harmonies of early Local Natives (“Wasted Light”, “Blame Fiction”), skeletal guitar figures cloaked in reverb a la the xx and airy vocal runs taken from various Beach House songs. They gamely cover their tracks by making good on their “dark-pop” descriptor: “In Secrets” incorporates an intense orchestral swell more reminiscent of Montreal’s late-90s post-rock than its mid-00s indie, while “Salt + Water” is caked with oxidized distortion. Less convicing are the three interludes which intend to give the record some conceptual framework (“Ritual”, “Tradition”, “Habit”), but end up stunting its momentum instead.
Ritual ultimately brings to mind some phrase whose source I can't recall, it could've been a famous musician or just someone at a party: “it’s really easy for a band to be unpopular.” It’s a variant on poptimism, an acknowledgment that screaming over guitar ran through five effects pedals isn’t necessarily easier than writing a three-chord jingle. Belle Game shouldn’t be commended just because they’re not trying to be an improvisational noise band or what have you. But there is something weirdly daring about Ritual-- there’s no narrative, no currency, just an arguably naïve trust that they can draw you in with familiarity and let the strength of the musicianship - Pitchfork


Those with their ears to the ground with respect to Canadian independent music might have been hearing good things about Vancouver’s Belle Game for a few years now; they might have even heard their debut album was done and supposed to be out as long ago as last October. So they’d probably be wonder why, with it now being April, they hadn’t actually heard it yet. The whys and wherefores of the delay are really known only to the band and their label(s), but what’s important is that Ritual Tradition Habit is finally coming out next week on April 16.
I don’t fully buy the “dark noise pop” self-description – to ears accustomed to things both dark and noisy, it’s not that much of either – but it is very much the sound of a band who knows who they are and what they want to do. The sonic parameters drawn around Ritual are fairly rigid – I guess if you find a reverb setting you like, why not stick to it? – but within those lines the band have crafted a well-realized world centered around Andrea Lo’s yearning vocals and Adam Nanji’s roughly echoed guitars, tastefully bolstered by orchestral flourishes and all in support of some terrific songs of the sophistication you’d expect from a much more veteran outfit. It’s a record that may have taken longer than it should have to come out, but still manages to have been worth the wait. - Chromewaves


Like fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene, Vancouver-based five-piece The Belle Game know their way around a melodic riff and guitar-filled chorus. Check out their debut album Ritual Tradition Habit, a promising collection of songs that points towards a promising future for the - Under the Radar


We're always antsy to hear from bands that can really shake things up with their videos. So when we actually find one, like this Vancouver quintet's (The Belle Game) video for their newest single "Wait Up For You," we can't help but be proud to show it to you first! "Wait Up For You" is off of their upcoming debut LP Ritual Tradition Habit, out April 16th via Boompa/Bella Union.

The video revolves around a forbidden friendship of two women in a rural town that we can only describe as a modern day Puritan Salem. While the two go on about their days riding horses and chatting by the lake, some of the townspeople make attempts to flee the town, which ultimately result in some questionable rituals done by those that oppose running away. We can definitely see here why the video alludes back to their debut LP's title! The song itself demonstrates The Belle Game's powerful dark pop led by Andrea Lo's strong soulful vocals, which definitely makes us excited for how their debut LP will come out to as well.

Make sure to watch the video below and see the story for yourself! Also, make sure to cop yourself a copy of their 7" single out March 4th, featuring the A-side, "Wait Up For You."
- See more at: http://filtermagazine.com/index.php/media/entry/watch_the_belle_game_show_us_a_modern_day_puritan_salem_in_new_video_filter#sthash.udsvgpKN.dpuf - FILTER


Name: The Belle Game
Based: Vancouver, Canada
Listen: http://listen.thebellegame.com/
Similar to: Stars

When Zach Condon waltzed through a confetti-filled room to the hum of ‘Elephant Gun', I thought ahah! Here is the very moment when the prized horn section becomes a piece of musical fashion, an in vogue bit of instrumentation for all aspiring bands to use. Only, with the exception of a few trumpet-loving troubadours, such a movement has merely been trudged further into the ground, instead of rising out of the ashes. The Rumble Strips - remember them? The less said the better.

That said, The Maccabees have used it to good effect, with the likes of Arcade Fire and Fanfarlo still partly relying on these siren-like sounds - and who can forget PJ Harvey’s bugle from last year? Enough with the references, let’s focus on the present day: What I’m trying to say is The Belle Game, a band taking great steps in Canada, allow the trumpet to become a thing of fixation once more. It laces a track, titled ‘Wasted Light’, circuiting the scene, as a blend of soulful vocals and frenetic guitars help cast a vivid sound, akin to Stars or Broken Social Scene at their most tender - all before a mighty crescendo takes the song into unchartered, stunning territory. - This is Fake DIY


Artist: The Belle Game
Song: "Blame Fiction"
Album: Ritual Tradition Habit

"'Blame Fiction' reminisces upon youthful encounters with narcissism, expectation, codependency and habitual lies. On one end we see someone struggle with the inability to exercise honesty with their partner and themselves, and on the other end we see their partner fall from the heightened expectation of how things should be," Andrea Lo tells Rolling Stone. "Conceived in a basement and inspired by scented candles, the song touches on the gray matter that lays between every conflict and every betrayal shared between two people who are seemingly close."



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/blame-fiction-by-the-belle-game-free-mp3-20130415#ixzz2XLKSJIpt
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook - Rolling Stone


Artist: The Belle Game
Song: "Blame Fiction"
Album: Ritual Tradition Habit

"'Blame Fiction' reminisces upon youthful encounters with narcissism, expectation, codependency and habitual lies. On one end we see someone struggle with the inability to exercise honesty with their partner and themselves, and on the other end we see their partner fall from the heightened expectation of how things should be," Andrea Lo tells Rolling Stone. "Conceived in a basement and inspired by scented candles, the song touches on the gray matter that lays between every conflict and every betrayal shared between two people who are seemingly close."



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/blame-fiction-by-the-belle-game-free-mp3-20130415#ixzz2XLKSJIpt
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook - Rolling Stone


"IT’S LATE IN the afternoon on April 20. About an hour ago, thousands of Vancouverites sparked up joints outside the city’s main art gallery, but the members of the Belle Game are clear-headed and sober. Sitting down for coffee and sparkling water at Jitters Cafe on West 4th Avenue, Adam Nanji, Andrea Lo, and Katrina Jones laugh when discussing their absence from the annual marijuana celebration.

“Our band is as close to straight edge as you can get without being straight edge,” keyboardist Jones says wryly. “We don’t call it straight edge. I just call it boring. We have two drinks and we’re exhausted.”

Frontwoman Lo chimes in, “I take fish-oil supplements every day.” She facetiously continues, “Sometimes I throw a little oregano oil into the mix.”

In lieu of indulging in rock ’n’ roll hedonism, the musicians have been focused on advancing their career. They recently returned from a pilgrimage to Texas for the South by Southwest festival and this month released their debut full-length, Ritual Tradition Habit, through Boompa Records. Most in the group—which also includes Alex Andrew on guitar and Rob Chursinoff on drums—work only part-time in order to focus on music.

“We all felt that, if we committed as much time as we could, it would expedite the process of finding out whether it [a career in music] is going to happen or not,” guitarist Nanji reflects. “We always say, if we’re going to half-ass it, we might as well start a cover band and have fun and make a bunch of money on the weekends.”

The Belle Game wasn’t always so goal-oriented. The group formed in 2009 when McGill University student Nanji returned home to Vancouver for the summer and linked up with some old friends; he launched a spinoff version of the group when he returned to Montreal in the fall. During this early period, the cross-Canada collective headed into the studio with local producers Dave Carswell and John Collins (otherwise known as JC/DC), but their lack of focus meant that the sessions floundered.

“It was super distracted,” Lo remembers. “At that time, Kat and Adam were still over in Montreal, and we were writing back and forth. We only had a small period of time to get together and work out a couple things. Many things were just done on the spot in the studio. It was really rushed and it was hard to put a lot of thought and care into it.”

They wrote an entire album’s worth of material but eventually decided to scrap the sessions and start from scratch after Carswell offered up some advice. Nanji says, “I remember sitting down with Dave for lunch because I was the only one in the studio that day, and he was like, ‘You don’t really like these songs. These songs aren’t very good. You should work on it more and do what you actually want to do in your brain.’ ”

The Belle Game set about doing just that after Nanji and Jones moved to Vancouver in 2011. While the outfit’s early EPs featured acoustic instrumentation and folk-oriented songwriting, the new material was darker and more atmospheric, with rootsy influences scaled back in favour of echoing guitars and textured ambience. These songs came together during an intensively collaborative period of writing and revision that was a far cry from the band’s hurried past attempts.

“We tried harder,” Jones says simply.

The new songs were recorded in a series of short sessions with producer John Raham, resulting in Ritual Tradition Habit. Equal parts catchy pop and nocturnal moodiness, these 12 tracks are steeped in reverb and cinematic drama. The climactically waltzing “River” acts as a vehicle for Lo’s soaring vocal angst, and there’s a hint of baroque lushness to the piano tinkles and string swells of “Bruises to Ash”.

“We wanted the album to feel melancholy, because we think it’s a pop album, but we all think that there’s something more powerful about sad pop music, and taking serious subjects and turning them into dance songs,” Nanji observes.

Jones agrees, offering, “As people, that’s where we channel our darkness, because we’re pretty positive, fun-lovin’ folks.” You can hear evidence of the musicians’ sunny personalities on the cloud-parting single “Wait Up for You”, which—despite its creepy, cult-themed music video—brims with beach-ready guitar licks, buoyant trumpet, and vintage soul-pop hooks, making it by far the brightest tune of the bunch.

With Ritual Tradition Habit on shelves and the Belle Game fully committed to making a living from music, the band is planning a string of festival dates in the summer to be followed by a cross-Canada tour in the fall. And despite the members’ businesslike approach to promotion, Nanji notes that they’re still in it for the right reasons.

“Deep down, we’re all kids watching MuchMusic that just want to be at the Junos,” he enthuses. “That little-kid mentality is still very much a part of us. It’s just fun right now. We take it very seriously, but it’s very fun to be in a band and get to play.”" - Georgia Straight


"Vancouver indie-pop quintet The Belle Game’s debut Ritual Tradition Habit is an otherworldly nugget, an immediately captivating collection of songs that feel modern yet fished from a bygone era. Dipped in reverb, it’s singer Andrea Lo’s vocals that are the main focal point on the record, a spectral Spector-esque presence that bounces around sonic constructions borrowing from modern Canadian indie trends: Clattering percussions, skybound trumpet (reminiscent of “quiet storm”-style Destroyer), Eastern-laced guitars and bubbling keys, all served in a retro-noir/art-rock/chamber pop sauce. There are a few instant knockouts: The very ’60s rocker Wait Up For You, the pulsating Cocteau Twins-laced Blame Fiction, and the dark, edgy ’80s pop hook of Keeps Me Up At Night. The titular tracks deftly break up an album that doesn’t necessarily have a strong conceptual throughline, but that will certainly make you come back for more. After all, Ritual Tradition Habit wouldn’t live up to its name if it didn’t. (The Belle Game opens for Hannah Georgas at the Rio Theatre April 26-27.)" - Vancouver Sun


"Buzz Band

Vancouver six-piece the Belle Game is a band with a bit of buzz in the lead up to the release of their full-length debut, Ritual Tradition Habit. They’ve opened up for the ubiquitous Gotye and Polaris Prize-winners Karkwa. Current drummer Rob Chursinoff comes from Tegan and Sara. They recorded a couple of EPs, one of which was produced by a guy who fiddled the knobs for the New Pornographers, and another guy who is actually in the New Pornographers. They’ve been listed as one of the best bands in Vancouver by a local alt-weekly. They also received a fan favorite award in a local radio station contest. So, yes, there’s a lot going on with the Belle Game – not to be confused with Montreal’s Bell Orchestre – and you get the sense that people are starting to talk about these guys on the West Coast in the same way the New Pornographers got talked about a decade ago in Vancouver, or Broken Social Scene got talked about in Toronto 10 years back, or the Arcade Fire in Montreal got tongues a wagging just after releasing Funeral. In fact, there’s been some level of build up for this debut full-length release. Ritual Tradition Habit was supposed to come out in October 2012, but got delayed for vague reasons involving an international partnership. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that noted UK label Bella Union is handling a single from the record, but who knows? In any event, it seems that we may be at a tipping point when it comes to the Belle Game, that this could be a band on the brink, and, if Ritual Tradition Habit is any indication, there’s a reason for that. This band is pretty good, simply put.

Ritual Tradition Habit is described as orchestrated dark pop, but there are moments of brightness that peek out from the clouds. The sound is very baroque and retro indie in the way that Best Coast and Tennis recall the sounds of ‘60s girl groups to a degree. (And do I detect a slight hint of Beach House on the album, too?) But there’s also the presence of an occasional horn section, which may earn the group comparisons to Broken Social Scene. In a sense, Ritual Tradition Habit feels very Canadian indie with touches of something far more wide reaching than that. And, overall, it’s a great album with a bevy of tracks that could find themselves onto any discerning music fan’s playlist. Aside from the instrumentation touches that make this a grandiose band, there’s also a hint of rugged country licking around the edges. It’s surprising that a band that’s only been around since 2009 could be as ambitious as the Belle Game is here.

Carrying the group through this vast and rugged terrain is the utterly appealing voice of Andrea Lo, who careens her way through these songs with a sultry and seductive voice that is more than a little reminiscent of a less Anglo-centric Siouxie Sioux. Lo navigates her way through a terrain that is abstract, and yet paradoxically concrete in a human, sexy way. Haunted by a gauze of reverb that makes her hard to make out at times, Lo sings of longing and deep desire: “Undid our bracelets, gleaming and faceless / Wasted you’re beaming, you’d give every reason,” she sensually croons on “Wait Up For You”. “Raise up our voice, not far from here / Strip away the noise until your skin is bare / I’d give it up for you,” she sings on “Wasted Light”.

For all of the longing present on Ritual Tradition Habit, the title of which takes its name from interstitial short songs that punctuate the album, the songwriting is usually crystal clear. “River” opens up with chiming guitars that are vaguely reminiscent of the Tennis debut. “Wait Up For You” has that sticks-on-sticks drum sound that marked some of the material on the first Local Natives album. “In Secrets”, with cold synth sounds muscling there way against a bracing horn line, could have easily nestled its way into You Forgot It in People, before the song gives way into a country-ish jaunt. “Keeps Me Up at Night” could be a candidate for a single, and sounds a little like a harder-edged New Pornographers song in some respects. And “Little Wars (Causing You Trouble)”, with its triumphant trumpets during its chorus, again could easily be something that was ripped from Broken Social Scene’s more pop-inspired moments. However, some of those interstitial moments are a cause for concern: “Habit” which ends the album and recycles the lyrics from “Wait Up For You”, sounds a little half-baked and under-formed, and ends the record on a sour note.

As well, if there’s anything less than remarkable about this debut, it is that the parts do feel greater than the whole. There are some brilliant songs that are so brilliant, they make the other material that’s a bit more sub-par, particularly in the album’s mid-section, stick out like a sore thumb. This long player proves that the Belle Game is still working at their, well, game. However, it is a debut that definitely makes a statement and is largely unforgettable, when it is firi - Pop Matters


"Some might think that naming the Belle Game one of "Vancouver's best bands," an accolade bestowed upon them by The Georgia Straight in 2011, was a little premature. The group only had a couple of EPs to their name at the time and little else, but now that their first album is complete that early call looks like a fortuitous foresight. Ritual Tradition Habit is a strong, confident statement from an act that have a clearer vision than most groups crafting their third or fourth full-lengths, which is exactly what this feels like, as opposed to a debut. At the centre of it all is the stunningly powerful voice of lead singer Andrea Lo, who can give some of music's most prominent voices a run for their money. Both empathetic and empowered, Lo's soulful vocals soar atop each song like a smooth tidal wave over the senses, best exhibited on highlight "River," where she sings, "I've been your river since we were kids." This is indie-rock at its best: texturally layered, with echoing guitars, infectious rhythms and horns, and lavished in hooks, such as on uplifting single "Wait Up For You." So, yes, we can justifiably deem the Belle Game one of Vancouver's best and, in general, one of Canada's most promising acts." - Exclaim!


By Gregory Adams
West Coast indie pop group the Belle Game have slowly been building a following, having released a pair of EPs since 2009, and opening for the likes of Gotye, Karkwa and Said the Whale. The group are about to kick things into overdrive, however, with news that they'll soon be delivering a full-length effort called Ritual Tradition Habit.

The album will hit retailers October 9 through Boompa Records, and it apparently features "extreme and gorgeous melodies, rhythmic drumming, textures, soundscapes, ephemera and blissful indulgence," the press release explains.

The 12-song set was produced by John Raham (Be Good Tanyas, Frazey Ford), and you can sample album track "Wait Up for You" in the player below.

While the LP won't hit for another month, you can probably catch a sneak peek of some new numbers when the group open for labelmate Christopher Smith at the record release party for his Earning Keep LP on September 12 at Vancouver's Waldorf Hotel, as well as at the Belle Game's Pop Montreal performance on September 22.
- Exclaim!


By Kevin Jones
Having travelled four days by train for their prime-time showing on the festival's opening day, Vancouver collective the Belle Game -- perhaps buoyed by the anticipatory enthusiasm of a packed Gladstone Ballroom -- appeared fresh-faced and exuberant as they ran through their high-spirited pop compositions. Led by singer Andrea Lo's beaconing vocals (at times augmented by pedal-triggered effects), the energized troupe bounced through a set of soaring arrangements marked by their carefree and inviting melodies, mood-setting guitar touches, dramatic synth and horn swells, and infectious rhythmic underpinnings, which had the receptive audience grooving in unison with the animated six-piece. Though limited to a mere handful of nevertheless entirely fulfilling sonic gems, the band's impact was made plainly apparent by the collective smile that radiated throughout the room upon the Belle Game's final note. - Exclaim!


"Sometimes boasting up to eight members, the Belle Game—currently operating as a six-piece—is Western Canada’s answer to indie-pop bands like Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire. And the outfit is going to reinforce Vancouver’s place on the international map with its latest release, Sleep to Grow.

The five-song EP dances into its title track with delicate piano chords and a soothing vocal melody. The tune builds up with trumpet, violin, and percussion, as singers Andrea Lo and Adam Nanji switch off vocal duties. That waltzes into “I Wish You Weren’t Like a Dead Lover (Sometimes)”, with up-tempo percussion and lingering open-chord strums giving the band a shoegazey quality.

“Bloom” is up next, a folksy tune that features arpeggiated acoustic guitar and smatterings of banjo held together by underlying violins. Its triumphant chorus suggests an angelic church choir, as all six members lend their pipes.

“Pink Carnations” follows as the perfectly crafted pop song, blending keyboards, understated drums, and controlled guitars. The Belle Game’s knack for lyricism is highlighted through its rolling vocal melodies.

The EP ends on “Wool Pt. II”, a spare and dreamy tune with lilting orchestral sounds. Sleep to Grow proves true to its title, being dreamy enough to fall asleep to while showcasing the group’s growth since its previous release, 2009’s Inventing Letters. " - Georgia Straight


"Wrapping up the night was The Belle Game. I've had the chance to see their big, chamber pop sound a few times in the last couple months, and this was probably their best show I have seen them play. While they have never been lacking energy, this set had an abundance of it, with the members moving around more, being more dynamic. Members of the band would come up front and centre to show off, notably Alex Andrew on guitar and trumpetite Andrew Lee (on loan from The Ruffled Feathers) blowing his heart out for a couple trumpet solos, and a really good intensity from singer Andrea Lo.
And they also had a big, bombastic ending to their set, wrapping up the first night of the showcase shows with a bang." - 3am Revelations


"Wrapping up the night was The Belle Game. I've had the chance to see their big, chamber pop sound a few times in the last couple months, and this was probably their best show I have seen them play. While they have never been lacking energy, this set had an abundance of it, with the members moving around more, being more dynamic. Members of the band would come up front and centre to show off, notably Alex Andrew on guitar and trumpetite Andrew Lee (on loan from The Ruffled Feathers) blowing his heart out for a couple trumpet solos, and a really good intensity from singer Andrea Lo.
And they also had a big, bombastic ending to their set, wrapping up the first night of the showcase shows with a bang." - 3am Revelations


"After hearing the favorite memories of strangers in Chicago, the reminiscing continues with a new video from Montreal band The Belle Game. The video for Pink Carnations, directed by Toronto filmmaker Jeffrey Zablotny, depicts a man inventing a device that captures and records strangers’ memories like a photocopier. All is sweet and innocent until he finds, in someone else’s memory, one he had since forgotten of his own.

The video’s release today coincides with the band’s new EP ‘Sleep to Grow’ dropping. We spoke with Jeff about his relationship with the band and this Kaufman-esque trip into the subconscious." (Brodie Lancaster, 2011). - Portable.TV


"From the fishy swamp of indie-electro-post-folk-fraggle-rock-pop, Vancouver band, The Belle Game, have floated to the surface with more soul than strategy. Embracing such pop-arty acts as The Walkmen, Broken Social Scene, Television, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The 6 members bring home a slightly different set of manners – earnestness, enthusiasm and dare we say, lovability? In other words, not your quintessential cool. The Belle Game makes music for two reasons: dancing and not-dying. It’s electric. It’s spooky. It’s tender. It’s just the beginning." (Jules Moore, 2011) - BWG Mag


"Andrea Lo shares vocal duties with Adam Nanji in their indie-folk band the Belle Game. The soulful four-piece puts together songs that remind us how spare-sounding music can still be beautiful. Golden outdoor concert memory: “The Malkin Bowl is a really great outdoor venue. Not so long ago, some of us went to go catch the Walkmen and the National there [September 10, 2010]. It’s always just an extra element that you add to shows when you’re outdoors, under the stars. They were both amazing.” Favourite thing about Vancouver: “It sounds really cliché and cheesy, but it’s a really hard city to leave because everything is in such close vicinity. You’ve got the ocean and the mountains right there; you don’t have to go looking hard for it. Wreck Beach is also a highlight. You can feel removed from the city without ever really leaving the city at all.”" - Georgia Straight


"Andrea Lo’s smoky vocals help give Belle Game’s dreamy pop ballads their defining quality. After earning the Shore 104.3’s fan-favourite award, the septet—whose members include singer Adam Nanji, guitarist Alex Andrew, keyboardist Katrina Jones, drummer Rob Chursinoff, trumpeter Andrew Lee, and bassist Ian Cook—is excited to be releasing its sophomore EP, Sleep to Grow, on October 1. Almost as excited, in fact, as Lo gets when thinking of making home videos with a quirky local music icon." (Kristi Alexandra, 2011) - Georgia Straight


"The Belle Game were one of those sought-after festival revelations, a happy accident one hopes to stumble upon at a sprawling music fest. This double bill with The Ruffled Feathers essentially offers two-for-one chamber pop at one of the best venues in town. Tickets have yet to go on sale, so I don’t even know how much the show costs, and frankly I don’t care. Gimme some of that. Oct. 20 at the Railway." (Andrea Warner, 2011) - The Westender


And finally was The Belle Game, hiting the stage seven members large -- including Trumpetite Andrew Lee, on loan from The Ruffled Feathers. Their sound can only be described as grand-indie-folk-pop, with a deep, layered sound. The keys and horns, as well as the guy/girl harmonies gave the incredibly catchy songs a great depth. The set was incredibly fun, and while there wasn't too much by way of banter, they whole band had a great stage presence -- each member looking sharp and like they were having a blast.
They are a part of the current Peak Performance Project, and while I had only heard a couple songs from them before last night, their live show definitely blew me away and I would not be surprised one bit if they do quite well in this years contest. - 3am Revelations


Finally, the Belle Game took their headlining spot, closing the night with their tightly written “indie folk-pop” tunes that were just too sweet. There was dancing throughout the set, there were maracas, there was magic. Singer Andrea Lo, while the band was tuning up, explained that she wasn’t comfortable with public speaking, and shyly introduced their next song. Then the music started and she was everywhere, flashing her tambourine, pounding her floor tom that sits so out of place, and yet perfectly makes sense at the front of the stage, and moving like she felt every single note. At one point singer/guitarist Adam Nanji proclaimed “This song was written for dancing” but everyone was already on their feet. The 7 piece band played so well together, and together is really the key word here because there was not a wasted note or harmony, that they moved as individual pieces of one unit that came to celebrate the music they so obviously love and care for. When that happens the feeling is infectious, and there was not a single person in the room that wasn’t feeling what they were putting out. It was clear this was their show, and by the end of the night they owned it. - Green Couch Sessions


Finally, the Belle Game took their headlining spot, closing the night with their tightly written “indie folk-pop” tunes that were just too sweet. There was dancing throughout the set, there were maracas, there was magic. Singer Andrea Lo, while the band was tuning up, explained that she wasn’t comfortable with public speaking, and shyly introduced their next song. Then the music started and she was everywhere, flashing her tambourine, pounding her floor tom that sits so out of place, and yet perfectly makes sense at the front of the stage, and moving like she felt every single note. At one point singer/guitarist Adam Nanji proclaimed “This song was written for dancing” but everyone was already on their feet. The 7 piece band played so well together, and together is really the key word here because there was not a wasted note or harmony, that they moved as individual pieces of one unit that came to celebrate the music they so obviously love and care for. When that happens the feeling is infectious, and there was not a single person in the room that wasn’t feeling what they were putting out. It was clear this was their show, and by the end of the night they owned it. - Green Couch Sessions


Tras el paréntesis que significó el post anterior, retomamos nuestro repaso de bandas canadienses, fijándonos hoy en esta llamada The Belle Game, compuesta por Adam Nanji, Andrea Lo, Alex Andrew y Katrina Jones.

Los comienzos del grupo datan del verano del año 2009, y apenas unos meses después publican su primer, y hasta ahora único Ep disponible, "Inventing Letters", un trabajo compuesto por cuatro temas de folk-pop de melodías intimistas, instrumentación orquestada y preciosas armonías vocales chico/chica. Entre las canciones incluidas en este Ep destacan especialmente "Tiny Fires" y sobre todo "Shoulders & Turns", dos temas que han sonado con frecuencia en alguna radio canadiense, y que les han valido comparaciones con artistas de la talla de Feist, The New Pornographers o Arcade Fire entre otros.

Como muestra de su música aquí tenéis una de las canciones, si os gusta, no dejéis de visitar su Página Oficial, en donde se puede descargar el Ep al completo, al precio que estiméis oportuno. - Lito Music


ans of The Belle Game know them for their wonderful lyrical songwriting, 2 or 3 or even 4 part harmonies, and general sense of joy while on stage. The 5 piece (sometimes 6 if joined by the fiddle player) group from Montreal/Vancouver were all smiles while playing their set. Drawing from newly written material and then jumping back to older songs, the group had the crowd in a happy sway from side to side. Lead by guitarist/singer Adam Nanji, the group all seemed to be on the same stage through every moment and note throughout the night. Between songs, members would share a look, Adam would mumble something then they would jump right into a new song. The Belle Game is a young band, and they are continuing to grow and to improve. The songwriting has gotten stronger, the songs are just as beautifully crafted, and the smiles seem even bigger now then when SCENEINTHEDARK.com had the pleasure of seeing them in the summer of 2010. - Scene In The Dark


"It must feel good to play a show like this." I said to Adam Nanji, founding member of folk pop sauvants The Belle Game. Since Adam's move to Montreal, the band who he had formed in Vancouver with vocalist Andrea Low and guitarist Alex Andrew, doesn't often get a chance to perform together, let alone to a packed house, ready to dance at The Dakota Tavern. Travel and separation yielded dividends for the band though. Nanji met pianist and vocalist Katrina Jones in Montreal, and her lush, soft voice added to the vivid textures of their roots-tinged show Saturday night. Under the strings of incandescent bulbs and the glitter of the mirror ball all seven pieces of The Belle Game's live act gathered together with their back to the wooden walls and the eager audience lining the bar and brick pillars of the cozy basement venue. The musicians smiled as they turned to play what will likely be one of the best live performances I'll see in a while.

Though starting slow, the set eased into a higher energy, with Low and Andrew both taking their turns hammering a floor tom, pinning the back beat behind increasingly frenetic percussion. The movement on stage urged movement in the crowd as one short-haired blonde pulled up her skirt and moved her hands in waves, eyes closed and rapturous. Smiles from the periphery, a sense that the blonde was on to something. On stage, the grins widened - the dynamos spun faster, and they urged everyone on to the dance-floor. - North by East West (NXEW)


http://www.theauralkinetic.com/?p=309

"Didja love this as much as we did? Adam, Andrea and Alex sure do write catchy tunes! Good lookin’ and good soundin’ you guys! And did you know their debut EP will be released at the end of this month?" - The Aural Kinetic


Vivre au milieu des caribous, ça n'a jamais empêché de faire de la musique, demandez à Neil Young et à Leonard Cohen ce qu'ils en pensent, ils vous diront. Le premier EP du trio canadien The Belle Game intitulé Inventing Letters est sorti il y a quelques jours, et on peut dire que pour un auto-produit, le résultat est vraiment pas mal du tout.

Tant au niveau des voix que de l'orchestration, on salue le talent des artistes. Alors si, pour l'instant, on ne réinvente pas le rock'n roll ici, les quelques vidéos présentes sur leur Myspace nous ont vraiment donné envie de les voir en concert et de suivre les évolutions de ces talentueux musiciens.. On écoute Shoulders and Turns. - Ecoute Premiere


If light were to be liquefied then turned into sound, the results would be similar to the sound of The Belle Game’s debut EP Inventing Letters. Throughout the 5 songs my ears were treated to wave after wave of delicious ear coziness. Adam Nanji, Andrea Lo and Alex Andrew make up this trio of multi-talented musicians and each brings several instruments to the table. They are able to build many, many layers into their music without the muddling. All three members also sing and their shared vocal duties and harmonies are substantial while maintaining a light and tasty feel. Each member adds to support the overall sound and listeners should be quick to notice that there are no divas here.

The Belle Game’s opening track Shoulders and Turns, gradually builds from modest, peaceful morsels into full, lilting melodies that crowds will always sway and sing along to. I would love for The Belle Game, in their performances to divide their audience in half, assign parts and direct a sing-a-long to end the night. Cocaine Starry Eyes, Inventing Letters (The Suitcase Song) and Tiny Fires are all lovely slices and their last, self titled track is an ethereal Who-ville-esque lullaby that shimmers and fades to leave the listener with warm echoes with the end of the EP.

Inventing Letters is a hot cup of tea, twinkle lights (see their album cover art), a bear hug, fresh baked bread and snow falling when the sun is out. Listen to it and thank The Belle Game for it.

http://www.theauralkinetic.com - Venus Toshiba (The Aural Kinetic)


Discography

Inventing Letters EP (2009)
Sleep To Grow (2011)
Wait Up For You/Wasted Light (Bella Union, March 2013)
Ritual Tradition Habit (Boompa Records, April 2013)

Photos

Bio

The Belle Game´s debut album, Ritual Tradition Habit, begins with bashful guitars, a soft wave of cymbals, and a pair of ambiguous phrases. `Ritual´, a sweetly haunting soundscape, lasts only a few moments before fleshing out a procession of wild and witchy tunes, full of melancholy, mythology and symphonic power.

Led by the hypnotic vocals of Andrea Lo, The Belle Game take intricate guitar and keyboard lines, anchored by dark pop rhythms, and weave them into gorgeous, graceful melodies. . . the end result still retaining the rawness of a boozy confessional. Canadian indie authority Exclaim! describes their music as “…indie-rock at its best: texturally layered, with echoing guitars, infectious rhythms and horns, and lavished in hooks”.

“Ritual Tradition Habit” is a journey through 12 beautifully layered tracks, interrupted by the occasional chant, hymn and instrumental rumbling. Among them the spooky blues ballad, ‘River’, a song Pitchfork deemed “best new track” and referred to as a “showstopping, extroverted piece of musical theatre”.

Over the past two years, The Belle Game has toured throughout North America and Europe, quickly earning a reputation for their emotional live performances, prompting Paste Magazine to name them one of the 10 Great New Bands from CMJ 2013”.

They released their debut album ‘Ritual Tradition Habit’ through hometown label Boompa Records (CAN) in April 2013 and released their ‘Wait Up For You/Wasted Light’ 7″ through Bella Union (UK/EUR) in March 2013.

Band Members