Charlie Belle: A fresh take on the future of Austin pop

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Charlie Belle at Holy Mountain.

Local teen band Charlie Belle celebrated the release of their debut EP “Get To Know” tonight at Holy Mountain. The EP is a solid platter, five well-crafted songs with a breezy sound that belies complex lyricism and hints of melancholy. On a chilly Wednesday night a solid crowd, many of whom had prominently marked black X’s on their hands, showed up to celebrate with the band.

The show had the sorts of technical glitches, minor feedback, mic technique and tuning issues that you’d expect from any new band, but the level of sensitivity and sophistication the young artists brought to the stage was striking.  On vocals and guitar, Jendayi Bonds (the band’s elder at 16) was the picture of poise — cool and confident as she laid thoughtful, silky vocals over jangly riffs. Bassist Zoe Czarnecki played with a warm tone and brought melodic musicality to the low end and drummer Gyasi Bonds didn’t miss a beat.

The show felt fresh and fun. After playing through the band’s standard set, a blustery run of alterna pop which stretches just over 30 minutes, Jendayi Bonds introduced a song the band’s been working on, so new it didn’t have a name. It found Bonds credibly exploring neo soul vocal riffs while the band had her back with a funky groove. This is a band that’s rich with potential — musical maturity well beyond their age. The problems in the set were the things that are easy to fix. They’ll move out of the realm of teen bands well before they’re out of their teens.

Charlie Belle at Holy Mountain.

Charlie Belle at Holy Mountain.


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