Melbourne singer/songwriter Belle Phoenix packed her suitcase in 40c Australian heat and flew off into a New York snow blizzard with nothing more than a pair of elven-style platform boots and a crappy acoustic guitar, let alone a mission to make the 10 songs in her head tangible.
After many months of exchanging emails and demos with musician, producer and long-time David Bowie collaborator Mark Plati (Bowie’s band member during the ‘Heathen’ & ‘Earthling’ albums), she was invited to meet Mark in NYC. Belle was re-energised by the opportunity to collaborate with Mark Plati. Belle turned up at Plati’s Alice’s Restaurant studio in New York – where both Bowie and Prince had graced – simply pressing on a buzzer in the snow.
“I recorded the demos using second-hand and borrowed instruments which included a weird, 80’s synthesizer. I was in a frenzy to capture the orchestral sounds I was hearing in my head”, Belle says.
Plati had arranged a band for the recordings which included members from Toronto and the UK, and it was agreed that the band be recorded as a whole to capture the live energy of the music. Before long, they were on their way to record in Phase One studios in Toronto; a studio with a long history of hosting rock’n’roll legends such as Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and more recently Rihanna and Drake.
Now after almost a decade, the album is ready to rise from the ashes like her namesake. Fusing noir, dark ambience and art pop a la Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Lana Del Ray, Belle Phoenix’s album Bittersweet is ready to finally see the light of day.
Bittersweet will be launched at Bella Union in Carlton on Friday 14thJuly with support from Jo Meares with Mark McCartney.