The video for “ATA,” the second single from Olga Bell’s highly anticipated LP Tempo (set for May 27 release One Little Indian) is available now, having premiered via VICE’s The Creators Project. A collaboration with Tokyo-based artist and programmer Baku Hashimoto (featuring photography by Josh Wool), the site calls the video “surreal, dark and beautiful”—check out the premiere here (including an interview with Bell and Hashimoto detailing their collaboration) and view/share the video via Youtube here. Bell has also confirmed new tour dates including shows with Empress Of and Yeasayer, plus her own European headline gigs. See below for details—with more to be announced.
Bell says of the track, “‘ATA’ was inspired by a 1958 Frank O’Hara poem called ‘A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island.’ It’s filled with wordless instrumental stretches—space for thoughts to congeal, to clarify. Some elements of the beat were inspired by the Art Of Noise classic ‘Moments In Love’ (the snaps especially), and the wormy synth bass of the verses transforms into a high, bright lead when the sun finally speaks, in the middle of the song (‘baby it’s tough! but don’t get low / our work is humble / daily I rise, daily you write’).” The track was premiered by Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio by DJ Julie Adenuga. Listen to the premiere here, and listen to/share “ATA” audio on Youtube here.
The first single from the album, “Randomness,” received a “Best New Track” designation at Pitchfork after it was premiered by Dummy, who described the house-influenced track as “the fuel of self-manifestation.” The Minister Akins-directed video premiered at i-D, who called the video “fire” and said of the track, “if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably had [it] stuck in your head since it surfaced earlier this month.” Check out the premiere here, and share/post the video here (full video credits at link). The track is available for instant download with album pre-order.
Written, produced and performed by Bell, Tempo is her third LP—following 2014’s Krai and 2011’s Diamonite—and features contributions from vocalist Sara Lucas and longtime collaborators Jason Nazary and Gunnar Olsen. See below for track list.
“This record is first for the body, then for the mind,” says Bell, who began writing the album immediately after seeing the film Paris Is Burning. “I started every song by thinking about tempo specifically, listening to the metronome alone, feeling its relation to my body, to the pace of the day, the weather, the light. On fast days I listened to club music, most of it at least twenty years old, and on slow days I turned to early West Coast hip-hop and Portishead because of how physically charged and compelling these records feel despite their low BPM.”
The LP follows the October release of Incitation, a five-track EP described by NOWNESS as “a perfect platform for Bell’s remarkable voice, mirroring the unflinching, self-analyzing lyrics.” Pitchfork went on to praise Bell’s “muscular voice” and “knack for arrangements that are simultaneously refined and overwhelming,” while The New York Times lauded her “forthright, supple melodies to hold everything together, and a voice—creamy, vibrant, sensual—that makes all her conundrums startlingly immediate.”
Born in Moscow and raised in Alaska, Bell is a composer, producer and performer based in Brooklyn. A prodigious classical pianist as a child and teenager, Bell graduated from Boston’s New England Conservatory before moving to New York City to pursue electronic composition and songwriting. In 2011 she received a Jerome Fund Grant from the American Composers Forum to aid in the completion of her first large-scale composition, Krai, which was released as an album in 2014 after a sold-out premiere at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The New York Times described Krai as “at once a folkloric study of her homeland and a contemporary exercise in electronic production.” Bell continues to perform Krai, most recently premiering a new arrangement with the Grammy-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
OLGA BELL LIVE
June 5—Berghain Kantine—Berlin, Germany†
June 7—Botanique—Brussels, Belgium†
June 8—Pop up Du Label—Paris, France†
June 10—Oslo—London, UK‡
June 13—The Hug and Pint—Glasgow, Scotland
June 14—Waiting Room—London, UK
June 15—Eagle Inn—Manchester, UK
June 16—De School—Amsterdam, Netherlands† June 22—River To River Festival @ 28 Liberty (performing Krai)—New York, NY
†with Empress Of
TEMPO TRACK LIST
01 Power User
07 Ritual (ft. Sara Lucas)
08 Your Life Is a Lie
09 Stomach It