Belle Mt. are a three-piece from London, founded by lead singer and songwriter Matt Belmont. The band formed during a period of withdrawal from live shows for Matt, where he dedicated himself to songwriting, beginning a journey musically and geographically. The journey ended up in the foothills of the French alps, where the surroundings inspired his new direction of stunning, cinematic sounds.
His work eventually made It’s way to Grammy Award winning producer Femke Weidema, Their musical connection has resulted in a partnership which brings a unique writing and production style to the project, steeped in layered ambience and depth.
Since then, the band incarnation of Belle Mt. has gone on to perform at festivals across the world, ranging from BST Hyde Park to Popfest Dusseldorf. Their sound has been championed by Mahogany who premiered their EP alongside a stunning live session, and the EP as a whole is past 17 million streams on Spotify. However, it’s their latest project that’s closest to the bands heart.
The heart-wrenching story of Leonard Cohen’s letter to his former lover & muse, might not be as well known as the tracks she inspired (Bird On A Wire & So Long, Marianne). The full content was shared by a friend of hers years later, before arriving in a Guardian article that left Matt lost for words..
Reading it made me desperately sad to think of these two young lovers who had spent a large portion of their youth together wrapped up in in ambition and romance, now communicating after years of separation and at an entirely different time; the closing stage of their lives. To be honest I don’t think any of us should really have been able to read that private letter, but I stumbled across an article about it and once I had read it there was just no turning off the desire to write something in tribute to these incredible people.
After Matt & long-term collaborator Jessica Sharman read the letter, they were both inspired to write the incredibly moving “Hydra”. It’s a deeply affecting piece, showcasing the raw songwriting talent on display against the sombre backdrop of the tracks inspiration. Released on the anniversary of Cohen’s death, it expertly captures a devastatingly beautiful story.
“We wrote Hydra together in the space of a few hours. It was almost 18 months before I got the band into the studio in Nashville to track it with our producer ’Femke’, she crafted this captivating and epic orchestral arrangement and production around what we’d put down. I’m not ashamed to say that we’re all so very proud of this track and hope that it serves as a tribute and another signpost towards Cohens stunning body of work.”