Our current generation of “alternative” music revels in the re-appropriation and blending of past genres. It is not uncommon for bands emerging from Brooklyn or Echo Park to pull from a long list of historical musical adjectives to construct their post-punk shoegaze dreampop electro-funk fusions. While less successful ventures skate dangerously close to the edge of self-parody, those that maintain the integrity of their forbearers breathe new life into styles that lay dormant and reintroduce great music to a new generation of listeners.
Such is the case with Wild Belle, a Chicago-based duo that accents classic Jamaican and Afro-beat rhythms with contemporary flourishes to create a fresh, modern sound. Their first official single, “It’s Too Late” pours Natalie Bergman’s smoky soprano and brother Elliot’s creamy saxophone over a jumpy rock-steady beat layered with Caribbean-inspired synths. Though its lyrics coolly dismiss a fickle lover, “It’s Too Late” is a hot, sexy track to be played on repeat.
While music nerds can spend days dissecting and describing the wide array of influences that supposedly validate a band’s existence, the best way to test musical integrity is to listen. Check out “It’s Too Late” below, and watch for Wild Belle’s full length album, set to drop on Columbia Records later this fall.