The frigid winter chill of February is nearing its end─ the New Year is barely two months old. It actually feels like we’re half way through─sleep deprivation ensues. If it’s not the turbulent 24-hour news cycle or the dismay of our “nothing surprises me,” culture; it’s the onset of our ever-expanding generational cynicism. What we need is a heavy dose of peace. A heap of tranquility and some sonic reprieve to settle our consistently restless spirits. Which just might be found in Jennah Bell’s new debut album, Anchors & Elephants.
Her mosaic mixture of folk-soul, dreamy rhythm and blues with funk influences, is a slice of comfort we could all use. Bell, takes us on a journey of a deeply poignant love story to love lost and all the moods in between. With a seamless resolution all within ten tracks. As a singer/songwriter her lyrics put you under a delicious morning spell on “Candied Daylight,” a single she originally introduced in 2015 that’s completed with a newly extended and breathtaking melodic ending.
Consequently, her lyrics shift to spitfire, as a warning shot, on “Can’t Be Too Careful.” While, her funk influences of shine through rightly so; after all, she is the daughter of one of the founding brothers and members of Kool and The Gang, Ronald Bell. In addition to their extraordinary iconic sound, which can be heard in droves, on “Everybody Likes to Party.”
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Bell gives us dollops of early Alanis Morsette on “3’5 (New York)” and Stevie Wonder’s The Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants era on “Chapter 3: The Hachet.” Yet, effortlessly comprises her own alternative version of soulful folk delights, that could’ve run with the best of the 90s folk-rock revival artists. Where Jewel played through the airwaves on repeat. Anchors & Elephants can be befittingly considered a musical remedy for heartache, and passionate dissonance, respectively.
The pureness and candid quality of Jennah Bell’s vocal abilities is inspiring. Much of the beauty that comes from singer/songwriters are the close and intimate proxies that we get to enjoy, with each listen. Which provides an easy notion that Bell’s debut will become a coveted, sonic art fixture this year. An inevitable beginning to a blossoming career in musical stardom. Listen to the full album below.