After about two years off the music scene, Austin’s indie songstress is ready to reemerge with a captivating new sound. “Goddess of Destruction,” Bell’s new single, is set for digital release on Jan. 27, and after getting an early listen to the single, it’s safe to say that is a single to give a listen or two.
Bell has drastically re-imagined her musical direction, and it’s a bit different than her original sound that gained her notoriety back in 2013. The single is just a glimpse of her new sound, a bold lyrical and musical turn for Emily and her new band The Talkbacks (consisting of long-time partner John Evans taking lead on guitar, Sam Powell on the keyboard, and Anthony Pummill on drums).
“More than ever, this has been a big group effort,” Bell said. “My goal from the beginning this time was to create a mainstay. The people I would work and play with for the unforeseeable future. We all have ownership in this, we are all here for the same goals. John, Sam, Anthony and I have poured a lot into this and we are just ready to get out there.”
With a start like this, Bell is setting the tone for a fast-paced year sonically. Bell’s no stranger to the Austin music scene though. The fierce songstress gained attention back in 2013 with the release of her debut album “In Technicolor.” The album was well received across Austin and captivated the ears of Austin’s music industry elites and propelled Bell’s status to indomitable, sultry rock powerhouse. Bell’s success was swift and imminent, as she quickly dominated the spotlight and set her music career in motion with unstoppable force.
“Everything Emily sings is heartfelt and sincere,” said Matt Novesky, Austin-based producer and Owner of Orb Recording Studios. “She doesn’t pull any punches and she is not afraid to take real chances. So many artists are playing it safe these days so seeing and hearing someone like her is utterly refreshing. The energy is through the roof and her message is loud and clear. You just can’t ignore an artist like Emily (not that you’d want to).”
As for her new direction, it it seems to be the result of a life changing personal event, involving the sudden loss of her partner John Evan’s young daughter Abigail at the tender age of 20, just before Christmas in 2013. Though not biologically her own, Bell loved Abigail none the less. Bell and Evans took most of 2014 to heal, and navigate what life was going to look like without Abbie, who was like a daughter to Emily as well.
“Time does not heal all wounds. It will always hurt,” Bell said. “But, also, time can do some pretty cool things. Time guarantees change. And we did change. And eventually, I could write again – as who I am after, because I will never be who I was before.”
With accolades such as “Best New Austin Act” in the 2014 Austin Music Awards, as well as placement in the top ten for “Best Female Vocalist,” “Austin Album of the Year” and “Austin Song of the Year,” Bell received a coveted Black Fret grant in 2015 and used the funds to start the recording process of her upcoming record, which is set for release later in 2016.
Emily Bell will be following up her latest single with a three-week residency at Stay Gold in Austin with her first show on Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. with no cover. We’re curious to see if she’ll be incorporating her earlier work into her live performances now.