Melbourne singer/songwriter Belle Phoenix packed her suitcase in 40°c Australian heat and flew off into a New York snow blizzard with nothing more than a pair of elven-style platform boots and a crappy acoustic guitar, a woman a mission to make the 10 songs in her head tangible.
‘Maker of the Man’ is the first single to be released from Belle Phoenix’s lost album ‘Bittersweet’. It will be launched at The Retreat in Brunswick on Wednesday 15th February. Entry is free.
10 years ago or so, after many months of exchanging emails and demos with musician, producer and long-time David Bowie collaborator Mark Plati (Bowie’s band member during the ‘Heathen’ & ‘Earthling’ albums), Belle was invited to meet Mark in NYC.
Clad in Gothic black (mourning the loss of her previous band), Belle was re-energised by the opportunity to collaborate with Mark Plati. She turned up at Plati’s Alice’s Restaurant studio in New York – a space that both Bowie and Prince graced – and pressed on the buzzer.
“I recorded the demos using second-hand and borrowed instruments which included a weird, 80’s synthesizer. I was in a frenzy to capture the orchestral sounds I was hearing in my head”, Belle says.
Plati had arranged a band for the recordings which included members from Toronto and the UK, and it was agreed that the band be recorded as a whole to capture the live energy of the music. After months of rehearsal, they were on their way to record in Phase One studios in Toronto; a studio with a long history of hosting rock’n’roll legends such as Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and more recently Rihanna and Drake. The band fell apart shortly after the tragic death of member Dave ‘Soulfingaz’ Williams.
“I was very surprised and happy that Mark had felt it necessary to preserve the original arrangements, along with the instrumentation on the original, demo recordings.”
Now after almost a decade, the album, ‘Bittersweet’ is ready to rise from the ashes like her namesake. Fusing noir, dark ambience and art pop à la Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Lana Del Ray, Belle Phoenix’s lost album is ready to finally see the light of day.
‘Maker of the Man’ is the first single to be released from Belle Phoenix’s album ‘Bittersweet’, and will be launched at The Retreat in Brunswick on Wednesday 15th February. Entry is free.
Belle Phoenix: Vocals, Synth, Acoustic Guitar
David Milne: Drums
Emily Moore: Cello
Anthony Dimkey: Bass
Oskar Bickford: Guitar