Below is our exclusive feature on Southampton four-piece Bel Esprit. They are currently preparing for the release of their epic new single entitled "Lose My Mind". The tune will be released, backed up by "The Mad Ones" on the b-side, on the 4th August and will be officially launched at a gig at The Joiners on the 12th. The track itself is the first brand new Bel Esprit material since the release of their demos last year, which produced tunes such as "My Darling Jane" and "Midnight, Midnight", which lead to AB Records dubbing them "Southampton's answer to The Velvet Underground", and in the interim they have only evolved and grown tighter as a unit. The new tune is sure to blow listerners away.
We catch up with guitarist Fahad to discuss the new single and also with frontman Billy to answer our quickfire round. We also round this feature off with our very own exclusive review of the new single.
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PART 1 - THE INTERVIEW
Hey Fahad, how's it going? It's been a while since we caught up with Bel Esprit. What's been going on with the band?
Fahad: "Hi Tom, we’ve basically been gigging about once a month. We managed to secure a slot at Guilfest 2014 this year and we’ve been in the studio sorting out the single and b-side. Now we’re working towards putting the single out and headlining local venue The Joiners in celebration."
How come it has taken so long to follow up 'Midnight, Midnight'?
Fahad: "We weren’t comfortable putting out anything half-hearted or that we weren’t absolutely 100% proud of. We wanted our first release after the demos to be the best thing we’ve ever done by a mile and I think we at least achieved that."
You have certainly come back with a very strong track. To tell the truth, it really had me blown away just how much you have developed since the demos from last year. What influenced the new track? Was there anything new being thrown into the mix?
Fahad: "We've all got better at our instruments, which makes a big difference. With this track we didn't feel the need to over-complicate things and were trying to be direct with our approach to it. We’ve also gotten a lot closer as musicians and friends over the past year and I think this reflected in this song most of all. Regarding influences, it was born out of listening to a lot of britpop on 6music when they did their anniversary week."
What is the track about?
Fahad: "The song is basically about the symptoms of lovesickness and the way it seems hopeless to try and deal with these when you’re stuck with your own thoughts. It’s also about the need to get away from your thoughts, whatever means that may involve."
Can you give up any details of the official release of the single?
Fahad: "We can reveal that we’re releasing the track for streaming on 4th August 2014 and on iTunes, Spotify and other major digital platforms shortly afterwards."
Fahad: "Also, anyone who comes to our single release show on the 12th August at The Joiners will receive a free download!"
Thanks for the catch up!
PART 2 - THE QUICKFIRE ROUND
Billy: "The Beatles."
Favourite new band?
Billy: "Vietcong, only just heard them but they're pretty interesting."
Billy: "Like A Rolling Stone."
Vinyl, CD or download?
When you press shuffle on your iPod, what is the first track that comes on?
Billy: "The Libertines, What A Waster."
Billy: "Pete Doherty."
Billy: "The Big Lebowski."
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Billy: "Ryan Gosling."
PART 3 - THE REVIEW
Bel Esprit's return with their brand new single "Lose My Mind" is certaintly a welcome one. The tune truly unleashed the potential of this band and demonstrates that they have developed as a unit since we last heard them on their demo recordings. It conveys a more matured and refined approach than previously heard within the recording of their songs and, all in all, it proves just what this band are capable of.
From the driving rhythm section that signals the opening of the track, and remains throughout, to the indie rock and roll guitars that kick the track into full throttle, it will cement your love of this band. The bridge also provides the added groove that we know so well from previous tracks such as "The Mad Ones", "Elodie" and "My Darling Jane".
The b-side is, in fact, a re-recording of the aforementioned "The Mad Ones", and it has to be said the better quality recording and higher budget brings the track to life. It is a moodier, more psychedelic affair than the a-side but that does not make it any less magnificent. In fact, it is safe to say that the two tunes fit in nicely together.
As lead singer Billy Herklots proclaims, "I don't wanna grow old and clever, want to stay just the fool I am", and if the fool he is can write indie tunes such as these then we hope this remains the case!
Full marks for Bel Esprit!
All photographs taken from the Bel Esprit facebook page.
Make sure you keep an eye on Bel Esprit's social media sites over the next week or so and be sure to check out the single when it is made available - you won't be disappointed!
Hope you enjoyed this feature on Bel Esprit!
Be sure to check out our previous feature on Lester Clayton!
To keep up to date with Bel Esprit follow this link - https://www.facebook.com/belesprituk
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