Keeping up with our series of premieres, we are joining forces with Lisa Bell for the premiere of her latest single “India,” a song that blends haunting vocals with some melodies that just like Hindu religion and the culture, would get you up in the high echelon. It takes the best of “The Great Beyond” by REM on its presentation and has a lot of vibes to the great Suzanne Vega.
In addition to the premiere, we also get to sit down with Bell to discuss the new single and more. Check out below!
– What inspired this song? Was it a specific thing in India or your overall trip there that prompted you to write it?
I was fortunate to travel to India several years ago, and this song tells the story of this wonderful yet dichotomic country. The vibrant colors, architecture, spirituality, people, and music are juxtaposed with the harsh living conditions, abject poverty, and pure chaos in the streets. My takeaway was that no matter how we judge another’s existence, love and happiness can be abundant in any situation. We can’t save them all, and in fact there is no need for saving at all.
– What was your favorite place in India? Your favorite thing that you experienced there?
By far the most amazing place I visited was the Taj Mahal – referenced in the song as “The Marble Beauty.” I visited the village of my guide that day near the Taj, outside of Agra. The entire town came out to greet me, made me tea, took and posed for endless photos, and gave me an insight into their daily lives. It was colorful and extraordinary! But the most interesting event happened in Pushkar, when I went on a very touristy camel ride “in the desert” outside of town. It started to lightning, rain and hail, so my teenage boy guide quickly got us off the camels, and into a “tarp held with a stick” that was a home. The mother inside kept pulling out children until there were five. Six if you count the guide, who was also her son. It was as small as a tiny bathroom. But the joy on the little children’s faces was priceless, and told me that even though we might judge their situation as abject poverty, they were quite happy and content.
– How was it working with your son on this track?
I bought my son Brendan Bell, aka producer Coxex, an Indian instrument called a Shruti while on that trip. He used it quite a bit to create music samples that he uses in his music. When it came time to develop the song, I knew I wanted that sound in the chanting section, and he was happy to help me create that. We took an amazing journey to Rangely, Colorado to record that instrument, along with ambient percussion sounds in The Tank Center for Sonic Arts. He loves working with foley and crazy music samples, so he was in heaven!
– Can you talk a bit about how it was to record this song at the TANK Center for the Sonic Arts? What is that space like? How did that impact or influence the final version of the song?
The TANK is an amazing recording space. Used for many years as a recording space by musicians under the radar, the converted railroad water tank was set to be demolished several years ago. Many of the musicians who loved the space formed a non-profit and a Kickstarter campaign to save the TANK. It was successful, and they raised enough money to create an actual recording studio on site. The acoustics are amazing! The reverberation goes on for days. There are photos and a video of me recording this song there on my Facebook page.