Sad Bastard Sundays: If you haven’t heard…Isbells

Here we are with another of the bi-weekly “Sad Bastard Sundays” from yours truly from Slowcoustic.  Today, I thought I would possibly introduce you to a band from Belgium that shouldn’t be overlooked.  I also thought that I would try to show that just because songs are slower, mostly acoustic, enjoyed by Sad Bastards, they in fact might not be sad at all.  These songs while on the mellow side of folk-pop almost feel uplifting as opposed to being the backing to your most recent break up.  Please enjoy Isbells.


Isbells are a Belgian band that found a home with me a couple years ago when their fantastic self titled album was released.  They come to us from Zealrecords and bring gorgeous melodies, catchy acoustics and the vocals of front-man Gaëtan Vandewoude.  What immediately caught me were the sparse arrangements that while often hushed, felt full and almost uplifting to this Sad Bastard.

When music finds itself often slower and more acoustic, they are quickly pegged and considered “sad” and often accompany the part in the television show where a character is in crisis or even dying…yes dramatic, but you know what I mean.  That is not the case here…I think.  This quartet leave you almost content with their style of indie-folk-pop.  Quite the conundrum for your truly.

Listening to the English singing Belgians, one thinks of open skies and fields – possibly just what you might think from what I have seen of the Belgium country-side with it’s  stunning beauty.  Maybe they are simply a product of their surroundings in bringing harmonies like landscapes and choruses like winding rivers that guide you through the experience.  Overall and outside of all the metaphors, Isbells bring light and airy acoustics that fans of early Bon Iver, The Black Atlantic and now James Vincent McMorrow will enjoy.

Listen to a few examples from the 2009 album below:


Bonus collage style video from a performance at The Centrale:


ISBELLS@ The Centrale from Analog?Starr on Vimeo.

Find more Isbells on Zealrecords, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter!
Purchase on iTunes, Amazon and eMusic

Hope you enjoy the tunes this Sunday – they are perfect for early morning coffee and/or early evening wine…you decide.


Slowcoustic Crane

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