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When I first heard Bella Ruse’s EP, I couldn’t believe it was Creative Commons. This minimal indie folk duo have such a smooth, polished sound, it’s impossible to think they’re not signed by some big record label.

Kay Gilette‘s rich, unique vocal sound is the foundation on which Bella Ruse’s music is built, but the real magic in is the way these songs fit together to form a cohesive whole.

I wonder if I’m the last person to jump on the Bella Ruse bandwagon, because they seem to have a very extensive web following, and a great deal of support from their listeners, who are even helping to fund the production of their upcoming full-length album (which I’m definitely looking forward to). It’s always difficult to tell whether this sort of grass-roots movement will go anywhere – sometimes the efforts do lead to mainstream success; more often it leads to a strong underground following that is still plenty to keep the artists afloat, while affording them the artistic freedom to continue making true independent releases.

  

If this six-song EP is anything to judge by, the Bella Ruse album is going to be a fantastic journey of sunny relaxation, perfect for summer days by the pool, relaxing with a magazine and a glass of lemonade. On the EP, even the songs with darker themes and lyrics have a bright, positive disposition about them, and there’s just something about Kay Gillette that can make you feel happy about anything.

The arrangements are minimal, and that seems like an appropriate choice given the mood of this collection. Aside from the final track, all the songs are light acoustic guitar ballads. Gillette and partner Joseph Barker create simple yet effective beds of sound that gingerly carry the vocals, and the overall effect is buoyant, even quietly jubilant in places.

This EP is definitely going to go on my summer beach playlist this year, and it’s bound to become a staple for road trips and lazy Sundays. When winter rolls around again, I think I’m going to check out Bella Ruse’s Christmas EP, but until then, I’ve got their current EP and the promise of a new album to keep me company.

Related Links:
Bella Ruse official site
Bella Ruse on MySpace
Bella Ruse on Tumblr

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