We Carry Us, the latest album from Albany-based artist bell’s roar, dropped on Jan. 12. While it’s hardly a month old, the bedroom-born solo effort is catching the attention of quite a few music blogs and it’s not hard to see why.
The album ties together 10 tracks of love, anguish and self-discovery in a work that feels vibrant and emotionally lush.
The layered guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and synth play are all compliments of the multi-instrumental soloist Sean Desiree–save for the sax in tracks like “We Carry Us” and “Fake Fantasy.” The instrumentals provide an immersive sense of space, leaving room for exploration, tightening to a focus when it has to.
The lyrical work from bell’s roar offers a complementary force for the tracks they narrate. Sometimes the vocals, warm and assured, are cradled by gossamer, swelling instrumentals. Other times they crash defiantly into a whirling maelstrom. Each track’s message stands firm in it’s own identity: able to thrive on its own, yet flow easily with the rest of the work.
There are unwavering messages of love, strength and community in songs like “We Carry Us”, “Dear Me” or the bright and plinking “We Shape Love,” a danceable chant that calls out “Hey I gotta say / We shape love we’re worthy of / So hey I gotta say you’re a love I’m so proud of.”
There are anthems like “Defiance” and haunting hymns in “I’m Troubled,” where competing sounds take the back seat. “If justice won’t save us / we surely will die,” they sing over deep, melodic humming.
From start to finish, there is a living, breathing entity that comes to fruition in We Carry Us and it just might dominate 2018.
Bell’s roar will set off on their Art Funds Art tour along the east coast on Feb. 2, wrapping up with an Albany show at the Social Justice Center to celebrate the album drop on Feb. 25.