KAREN BELLA

New York-based Karen Bella, is one of the hardest working singer-songwriters in the business, and after enduring a 2020 filled with set-backs, many may say she is also one of the most resilient.  Pre-Pandemic, she performed eight to 10 shows a week in the tri-state area, playing such notable venues as the Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, the Landmark Theater in Port Washington, Great South Bay Music Festival and the Philadelphia Music Festival.  Despite her busy schedule, she still had time to write, record and release her debut album and perform high-profile shows that not only earned her a VIP audition for NBC’s The Voice, she was named a Sam Ash Music Store “Spotlight Artist,” and she has been an official Fishman endorsed artist since 2019.

          In March of 2020, Bella was set to release her new, self-titled, six-song EP, produced by Josh Dion of Paris Monster, which she describes as “capturing her experiences and spirit,” and one that was already being hailed as her strongest to date.  Karen Bella premiered live at the Rockwood Music Hall in NYC on March 13, 2020, the night before the world stopped due to Covid-19. Following the performance, she suffered a broken wrist requiring surgery and several months of therapy, and then she contracted Covid-19.  Deciding to put the album release on hold, Bella focused on getting healthy.

          Finally, now in 2021, after recovering successfully, Karen Bella, is being released to radio and getting the attention it deserves.  Her self-titled project is a heartfelt record that transcends genres and encourages deep listening. The lyrics on Karen Bella, at times, feel light and free, then dive without apology into traumatic relationships, betrayal, and past struggles with substance abuse.  Though every song has a different twist stylistically, the production team and musicians worked hard to craft a consistent, crisp, authentic, timeless, and even dreamy sound.

          “I grew up listening to a multitude of genres.  As a songwriter, there are many benefits to having genre versatility,” said Bella.  “I get to share my love for Folk, Rock, R&B, Pop, and Country to its fullest.  This record represents that.  I want my fans to enjoy these little chapters of my life.  My goal as a songwriter is to have a positive effect on the listener, because music has been a miraculous coping mechanism for me, helping me to fight the depression and anxiety that followed traumatic life events.”

  Bella began studying music and acting in elementary school.  She started booking for recording sessions at nine years old and was writing songs at age 12.  After college, she pursued music full-throttle, releasing her first album, Ordinary Girl in 2013 and performing in legendary venues around NYC.

          During the Pandemic, Bella has been featured on News 12 Long Island and in the Long Island music publication, Good Times Magazine, speaking about the struggles of being an artist at this time – including contracting Covid herself – and inspiring musicians to continue creating, no matter what life throws at you.

STEREO LEAGUE

Hailing from Philadelphia, Stereo League emerged in the summer of 2018 with their self-released debut album “A Light on Each Side”, which featured over a dozen collaborators. Initially classified as a recording collective, their live act is now comprised of five core members and walks the line between atmospheric Folk and overdriven Rock and Roll. After several sold-out shows and radio performances, they promptly began work on a follow-up EP which was released on Feb 22, 2020. Continuing their “collective” mentality, this new batch of songs features a few new faces and expands on their genre-bending style of songwriting.

SILVER SYNTHETIC

In the midst of the thick New Orleans summer of 2017, Chris Lyons of garage punks Bottomfeeders found himself sitting on a small batch of songs that didn’t quite fit the fuzzed-out pileups of that band. The new songs were more chiming, driving but relaxed, full of little corners begging to be filled with classic pop harmonies and wayward country licks. He called in his trusted confidants: Bottomfeeders drummer and longtime musical partner Lucas Bogner — the two started playing music together at the tender age of 15 — plus bassist Pete Campanelli, and Kunal Prakash (Jeff the Brotherhood) dug the songs and signed on, and the quartet started playing in earnest, hunkering down in the practice space.
By the time the band played its first gig in late 2018 at the opening of Nola’s ManRay Records, the songs had multiplied and the members of the newly christened Silver Synthetic had become genuine rock & roll craftsmen. In a world that doesn’t seem capable of swaying, Silver Synthetic’s self-titled debut shakes and boogies.
It makes sense that the band’s first gig was in a record shop ‘cause folks, this is record nerd-core in a major way, evocative of the LP’s first golden era, as the late sixties oozed into the strange 1970s, with the requisite T-Rex stomps, Britfolk twists and turns, and dueling Verlaine/Lloyd guitars. It’s about warmth, and you can practically smell the gently glowing amp tubes on “In the Beginning,” which wafts along on a gust borrowed from Lou Reed’s beatific Coney Island Baby breeziness. With “Chasm Killer,” the boys lean into jammy heartland rock, almost approaching Silver Bullet Band territory at one point! Even when the band kicks into charging lean rock-n-roller, like on the Kinksy “Around the Bend,” there’s a laid-backness that allows more room for the spirit.
You could call Silver Synthetic rock & roll formalists, but the truth is they’re more like minimalists, stripping away tired clutter and unnecessary bloat and just zooming in on the essential.