VH Artist of the Week (22/8/16): Bel Esprit

Here’s a piece I wrote for Vulture Hound a little while back. Find it on the site here: http://vulturehound.co.uk/2016/08/artist-of-the-week-220816-bel-esprit/

Each week VH Music picks out a new artist you should definitely be checking out. This week, Samantha explains why you should be checking out Bel Espirit.

A fiery energy fuelled by the unison of passion and skill is the kind of magic you can expect from up and coming band Bel Esprit. Their sound is reminiscent of 90s pop rock, with a fuzzy indie ambiance thrown in for good measure.

Local to Southampton, this four piece are rocking their scene, collecting a loyal following everywhere they go. From playing their own shows and performing at the Southampton’s Common People festival for two years running, there’s no denying that the city is behind them. Just what is it that grips their audience, leaves their listeners in a loving daze, and piques our interest? Perhaps it’s their dynamic presence on stage, their catchy hooks, or their warm nature. Perhaps it’s all of the above. Catch a song like ‘Lose My Mind’ on the radio and you’ll find yourself singing along. Happen to see Bel Esprit on stage and you’ll find yourself dancing in no time. If you’re not the dancing type than perhaps a smile while your mind is taken elsewhere.

Their ability to write memorable songs and perform them with a great magnitude of energy, all while spreading their lovable charm across the room, is what sets them apart from the rest. A recent performance at a venue close to home saw their fans come alive. On a cold Tuesday night, friends, family and fans alike headed to The Joiners, cheered Bel Esprit on, danced to their marvelous melodies, and eventually joined them on stage for the encore of a cover of a Palma Violets song, the band that pushed Bel Esprit into existence. Funny to think that a few years ago, a group of friends at a gig once thought about starting a band, and now that group perform to crowds who know the words to every song.

Why ‘Bel Esprit’? This was the name of a fund organised by Ezra Pound to free T.S.Eliot of his day job in order to write poetry full time. Unleashing creativity on the world, Pound set out to publicize artists by supporting them with opportunities to put their work out to the people. One can imagine the application of this name to the band is something to do with the notion of freedom of artistic innovation, embracing the wild nature of music, just as the band themselves do.

It’s this kind of background story that highlights the importance of spirit in the making of music. It adds to the depth of songs. Even if it’s catchy as hell, when served with a punch of passion it touches upon something much greater than just another rock song. It churns emotion, reminds us of memories once forgotten, and whisks us away to places never imagined.

That’s just what Bel Esprit are doing right. Addictive, riff heavy tunes, all served up with an undeniable charm and most significantly, a relentless surge of enthusiastic energy. Catch them at a show near you soon, you won’t regret it.

Check out ‘Leave Me Here’. A single released by Bel Esprit earlier this year:

Feature image credit: Asia Pracz

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