Denver-based songwriter Becky Hostetler proclaims her band Bellhoss as “sitting in a purgatory between folk and DIY punk; sad songs for people who keep secrets, specialising in puppy birthday parties alongside run-of-the-mill sad-dog birthday clowns.”
That imagery rings true on Geraniums, Bellhoss’ debut record, which premieres today via BandWagon Magazine. (See below.)
The ennui of this 7-song bummer-rock collection engages the listener without dragging it’s heels. It’s a credit to Hostetler’s honest, forward-leaning twang which distinctly brightens up the mid-tempo telecaster sway throughout the album. There’s humor at play too, in the upbeat testimony of “Naked” and the lyrical plenty of “Geraniums #2” the slacker single off the EP.
Bringing to mind Pinegrove, ALVVAYS, and even Kurt Vile in feel and frankness, Geraniums is a team effort on behalf of Bellhoss’ members who fill in the ranks behind Hostetler’s lead. Bassist and backing vocalist Malena Roberts both recorded and mixed the record, while lead guitarist Payden Widner takes home the mastering credit.
From the vocal-harmonic Irish folk feel of “Geraniums #1” to the bare intimacy of “Heart Apart,” Geraniums offers a soundtrack to both the golden hour sheen of June afternoons and the somber summer nights which follow. But the bread and butter of the record is Hostetler’s direct, unpolished “everyman” vocal. It’s raw, driving beauty allows Geraniums to flourish.
Stream the debut record from Bellhoss below and catch the Geraniums release show June 9 at Lost Lake in Denver with Corsicana and Two Tone Wolf Pack.