Claremont 56 continues to champion new, previously unheard talent with ‘Ready To Die’, the beautiful debut from Charlie Bell AKA Bel – a young, Liverpool based singer-songwriter, musician and producer.
‘Ready To Die’ is an emotion-rich chunk of catchy, loved-up Balearic pop with heart-aching, gut-wrenching lyrics about unrequited love, Bell’s debut is as catchy, infectious and heartfelt as anything the label has released to date. Such was his love for the song, Paul “Mudd” Murphy, Claremont founder, decided to remix it for release, completing extended vocal and instrumental versions that enhance the track’s sun-kissed, glassy-eyed appeal. Both mixes are magical, with the vocal version in particular capable of making the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention.
Bell’s impassioned vocal and breezy acoustic guitar playing naturally takes centre stage, with the track’s sweeping synth-strings, toasty bass and a few trademark Murphy flourishes – think well placed delays and fluid electronics – on hand to amplify the song’s bittersweet mood. The beautiful and beguiling quality of Bell’s musicianship and Murphy’s subtle remix comes to the fore on the equally beautiful instrumental version.
Both you and your brother are in a band called, Phaedra but you both are also pursuing your solo projects, yours being Bel. Did you grow up surrounded by music or was it a later development?
Yes music was all around me as a kid, my dad is a record producer so there was always a recording studio in our house and loads of musicians knocking about, we learned how to use the gear and started making music pretty early
What artists initially influenced you to take up music yourself?
I really liked old rootsy blues when i was a teen, also Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Beatles etc. Later on I got into The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Kurt Vile, Here We Go Magic and stuff like that.
Who are you currently listening to at the moment?
I'm travelling round Portugal and Spain at the mo with my friend Elfie who plays the fiddle, I’ve got my acoustic with me so we are just jamming all the time and writing new stuff so I suppose I'm listening to myself a lot!
Released without an original but as two mixes from Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy on his label Claremont 56, a label we love – how did this association came about and what’s the reason for not releasing the original?
Paul at Claremont heard the demo I had done and remixed it, I'm back in the UK this winter to record an album and ‘Ready to Die’ (original version) will feature on that record.
What’s on the horizon for Bel and Phaedra?
New album for Bel in January and album in June for Phaedra also touring both projects in the spring.
Finally, what three records would you take with you to a desert island and why?