Led by vocalist Andrea Lo, a Vancouver ethereal crush pop band called Belle Game is the latest addition to the Wapiti Music Festival lineup.
Formed in July 2009, band members Adam Nanji, Alex Andrew, Katrina Jones and Lo will be bringing their new-age inspired sound to the festival grounds.
Belle Game is a pretty big deal. Their debut album Ritual Tradition Habit netted the group critical praise from Rolling Stone and Paste Magazine named them one of “10 Great New Bands from CMJ.”
As an ethereal pop band, their sound is upbeat and familiar on the one hand, while also managing to sound strangely distant and foreboding on the other.
Lo said their music is the product of a grinding and demanding creative process.
“That’s the curse of any songwriter,” she said. “You’re constantly coming up with ideas and trying to finesse them but some don’t work out along the way.”
“Music these days isn’t really definitive,” she added. “Everyones messing around but there are some really neat sounds coming out lately.”
Broken Social Scene has been a huge influence on the band and its members, said Lo, who said she feels “they carry a certain spirit and soul to them.”
Nanji, Jones and Lo, the three original band members met in Montreal where Nanji and Jones were attending McGill University. Lo said the band settled on the name Belle Game in their earlier years.
“We were young and throwing around ideas,” she said. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Though the group has played in Fernie before, this will be the first time they perform at Wapiti and Lo said her bandmates are excited.
“The idea of playing an outdoor festival feels so awesome,” she said. “It’s sunny. It’s warm and a little bit sticky and everyone is in good spirits. There’s a certain quality to it that makes it very special.”
Their latest album is called Fear/Nothing. The album’s first single Spirit got 4000 plays the first day it was released.
“I count that as a big success,” said Lo. “It’s perhaps one of my favourites because it was a pivotal song that we wrote all together. It was a time when we started writing music that was new to us.”
Though touring involves a lot of time spent together in tight quarters, Lo said the band employs its own unique form of diplomacy to make sure they live as harmoniously as possible.
“We’re all really good friends,” said Lo of her bandmates. “And I think we’re lucky and fortunate that we’re extremely diplomatic and we’re talkers. Any issue that might arise we’re able to communicate and work through it.”
“We’re really lucky. I’m really lucky,” she added.
The Wapiti Music Festival runs August 11 and 12.