Appalachian seems too provincial, Americana seems to vague, vintage is euphemistic, and old-timey seems pejorative, but Old Belle‘s music fits all those adjectives. The San Francisco outfit is really good at creating that atmosphere that is so difficult to describe. From the earnest lyrics about love and loss to brash melodies and distinctive harmonies, Old Belle strikes the right chord on their self-titled album.
Lead vocalist Tonya Newstetter brings the perfect amount of sweetness and attitude to the tunes, which the rest of the quartet fills out in enjoyable, comfortable, comforting style. This is the sort of album where “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” rounds out the collection; if you’re into that, you’ll love Old Belle’s self-titled debut.