The Belle Sounds

by The Belle Sounds

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about

Noëlle Hampton sings like a wistful angel, her warm honeyed tones dripping with tender resignation. She’s released four albums under her own name, all marked by uplifting melodies, insightful lyrics, her quietly powerful vocals and the understated guitar virtuosity of her husband and musical partner, André Moran. With their new band, The Belle Sounds, she continues exploring deep emotions with a collection marked by her characteristic insight and compassion.

“I wanted to go back to the songwriter/indie rocker vibe that first got me started,” she explains. “I wanted something different, even though the thought of something completely new at this stage of our careers is both exciting and terrifying.” It took Hampton almost a year to write these songs, but after recording eight of the new songs in Austin, they realized the music was not in line with her vision. “We stopped cold and took almost a year to contemplate a new approach. In that time, I wrote more songs, all tilting in this new direction, and we realized this was the perfect opportunity to start a band project.”

After a long search for the right producer, Hampton and Moran found Neilson Hubbard at Mr. Lemons studio in East Nashville, TN. They recorded most of the record in two weeks and their spontaneous energy shows in every note. With producer and multi-instrumentalist Neilson Hubbard (Garrison Starr, Glen Phillips, Kim Richey) and drummer Evan Hutchings, they made an album marked by buoyant pop melodies, poignant lyrics, moody keyboards, reverb drenched guitars and a sense of delirious melancholy.

The bright folk/pop on The Belle Sounds balances electric and acoustic instruments to surround Hampton with lush arrangements that compliment her passionate vocals. Moran’s subtle, shimmering electric guitar arpeggios set the stage for “Island,” a dreamy celebration of love’s power to keep you safe, even when disaster is looming. Twinkling piano and Hampton’s sinuous, processed harmonies support the lilting melody of “Away Away,” a contrast to a vocal ripe with the mellow longing of a broken heart. Charlie Faye and Will Sexton add harmonies to “The Starry Eyed,” a ballad that salutes the dreamers and artists of the world. “Bourbon on Your Lips” is an uplifting pop tune with a serious message about the tension between love and anger in a relationship. Moran’s playful, chiming guitar and Hutchings’ propulsive drumming balance Hampton’s ardent vocal. (“Bourbon” will be featured on the soundtrack of Dark Skies, the Kerri Russell film directed by Scott Stewart.) The delicious tension between Hampton’s soulful, simmering vocals and the band’s uplifting arrangements makes The Belle Sounds is a perfect album for solitary late-night reveries, or playing at top volume on a long cross country drive, a collection that proudly wears its heart on its sleeve.

Hampton and Moran met in San Francisco. Both had played in other bands, but when they met, something clicked. “When I first saw André I walked up to him and said, ‘I think I came here to meet you tonight,’” Hampton recalls. “We went on one date and we’ve been together ever since.” Hampton had just left a band, but wanted to enter a contest to win a slot to play on Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair; she asked Moran to be her backing guitarist. They won the contest and Hampton received rave reviews for her performance during the 1998 Lilith Fair. Soon after, she appeared the first iTunes commercial with Iggy Pop, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Jeff Tweedy, Exene, Barry White, Ziggy Marley, Dwight Yoakam and many more.

After years of relentless touring and four albums, Hampton and Moran moved to Austin, Texas. “We were exhausted,” Hampton says. “We’d played hundreds of gigs, toured, made albums and tried to get the music out there. In Austin, we focused on getting jobs and making friends. The thought of putting together another band was overwhelming, so I stopped.” Moran continued playing with other people and teaching recording classes, but Hampton took a day job and stopped performing.

When “Here on the Ground,” a song from her 2002 EP, Five for the Road, was licensed for the ABC show Men in Trees, Hampton started writing again. Her next album, Thin Line, saw her moving away from pop for a sound that was more roots-rock, influenced by the country and folk sounds of Austin. With The Belle Sounds, she’s leaned back to the indie/songwriter side, yet still incorporated all of her influences to give us some of the most exquisite songs she’s ever written.

The 5 piece band they perform with has brought about a revelation for Noëlle. "We worked for months to put a band together that could match what we did on the record. It wasn't easy, but we have found some AMAZING players and people to surround ourselves with. Having 3 part harmonies is blowing my mind. It is making me write differently as well, so we look forward to the journey toward the next record as well. At this point, I have an incredible perspective on the industry and my music. We create because we can. We play music because we want to. We don’t have any expectations from the industry, and it doesn’t have any of us. We are independent musicians and we love it. All we can do is strive to constantly be better than the day before.”

"Effervescent folk-pop done with tremendous buoyancy and melodicism, one can’t help but be swept away by the sheer infectious tunefulness that’s richly evident in this spot-on delightful album. Noelle Hampton’s sweet honeydew voice soars with breathtaking grace and agility. The harmonic arrangements likewise hit the dulcet spot, thanks to both the superbly proficient playing and the sure grasp of heavenly lush hooks. In addition, the songwriting digs deep into a strong melancholy mood with often touching results (the haunting “Away Away” in particular is simply heartbreaking in its plain-spoken articulation of forlorn regret). A beautifully fragile and affecting little jewel." - Joe Wawrzyniak, JerseyBeat.com

The Belle Sounds (www.thebellesounds.com)– Here’s another of the duos that are so popular nowadays. This one pairs husband & wife Andre Moran and Noelle Hampton. The Austin-based couple’s music is more poppy than twangy but always marvelously melodic. “Bourbon” is the song I would order firsts off of their Neilson Hubbard-produced eponymous debut. -Musical Shapes/Michael Berick

credits

released April 30, 2013

Noelle Hampton: acoustic guitar, vocals
Andre Moran: electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel
Neilson Hubbard: bass, piano, vocals
Evan Hutchings: drums, tambourine drum, percussion

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about

The Belle Sounds Austin, Texas

The newest project from established Austin, TX based husband/wife team Noëlle Hampton & André Moran, The Belle Sounds
formed in 2013. Their signature sound features alluring three part harmonies & a dynamic, lush soundscape.
Band members include Emily Shirley (keys/vocals), Nathan Harlan (bass/vocals) and Jim Echels (drums).
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Track Name: Bourbon On Your Lips
BOURBON ON YOUR LIPS

You be the vase and I’ll be the flowers
I’ll be the minutes inside your hours
I’ll be the end to your bad day
If you be the thing I long to say

But don’t, don’t be mad at me
Don’t, don’t, don’t be mad

I’ll be the glow around your star
You can sing like strings on my guitar
I’ll be the bourbon on your lips
If you be the belt around my hips

But don’t, don’t be mad at me
Don’t, don’t, don’t be mad

There’s a pony that could ride us into the sun
And this is just a moment
In a moment it will be done, done, done

Don’t be mad at me
Don’t, don’t be mad at me

I’ll be the blue light in your flame
If you be the bulls eye to my aim
You be the sinker and the hook
I’ll be the last page of your book
Track Name: Should Have Been Mine
SHOULD HAVE BEEN MINE – music and lyrics by Noëlle Hampton
Ever since I was I child
I was taught to feel like I don’t deserve you
And I’m haunted every night by the feeling
That I haven’t earned you
You tease me with a taste
Then make me feel like I’m going crazy
To care about something so illusive and so amazing

MONEY -- You make me feel so hollow
MONEY -- I have to beg or borrow
MONEY -- You know I feel so empty
When you say you’re going to come around
Somehow you know you always forsake me

I don’t trust myself around you enough
to make the right decisions
and you’re the only one that has the power
to change my opinions
and although I want to write you off
I keep getting this feeling
That someday you’re going to stick around
If only I could just keep believing

MONEY – You want to take me downtown
MONEY – You turn me all around
MONEY – You’ll probably leave me for another
The way that this is going
I don’t know why I even bother

Oooohhh, Ooohhhh…..
MONEY – don’t think that you can break me
MONEY – and don’t think that you make me
MONEY – I’ll see you somewhere down the line
You’ll be begging for forgiveness
‘cause you know that you should have been mine
Begging for forgiveness ‘cause you know that you should have been mine
Track Name: Away Away
AWAY AWAY

Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away

Like a wave on the ocean, won’t you bring it on home
‘Cause it’s escaping and taking the center of my heart
And as a toxic seed is planted deep in ground
We can’t cut it, or break it, or even burn it down
It becomes a thing and you stay

Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away

Well, I could go, just like you, I could disappear for days
Never knowing or feeling the building bitter pain
But as you touch me, I see into the water’s depth
And there’s a shining glimmer, a glimpse of what is left
Then it goes away

Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away

(Try try try try) Bring it on home
(Try try try try) Bring it on home


Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Away, away, away, away
Bring it on home
Track Name: Cassiopeia
CASSIOPEIA – words and music by Noëlle Hampton

There’s something different about you lately
I see the shadows around your eyes
Hear a different beat to your heart
But we all know how it is to try and stop once you start

You’re like a greyhound on a racetrack
Out of the gate you’re running fast
You’re going to wear yourself down
Take it easy on the first lap
There’s another time around

This is your warning
This is your warning
This is your warning

Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
You still got light to give

You can kick this if you want to
Put on the gloves, get in the ring and start swinging left and right
Every day’s another chance, but every night’s another fight
You know you’re in a great position
You’re still young enough to change all of those little things
That later add up to changing everything

This is your warning
This is your warning
Let this be your warning

Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
You still got light to give

Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia,
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
You still got light to give
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
Don’t burn out, Cassiopeia
You still got light, Cassiopeia
(Don’t burn out, Don’t burn out, Don’t burn out…fade)
Track Name: The Starry Eyed
THE STARRY EYED – words and music by Noëlle Hampton

There’s a ship leaving early in the morning
That’s full of people just like you and me
We’ll leave before the day that’s dawning
Where people live in fear of what they dream

You must forgive the starry eyed
‘cause they’ll always see things the way they do
And they live in a world where all the dreams have died
Forgive (Forgive) the starry eyed

Don’t fear us, come join us
‘Cause you know that you can’t do it all alone
The constellations will guide us
The moon will light us a path
All the way home

You must forgive the starry eyed
‘cause they’ll always see things the way they do
And they live in a world where all the dreams have died
Forgive (Forgive) the starry eyed

All that doubt will only drown you
Let it fall away like rain

They live in a world where all the dreams have dies
Yeah they live in a world where all the dreams have died

Forgive (Forgive) the starry eyed
Forgive (Forgive) the starry eyed
‘Cause they’ll always see things the way they do
And they live in a world where all the dreams have died
Forgive (Forgive) the starry eyed
Forgive (Forgive) the starry eyed
Track Name: When We Were Young
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG – words and music by Noëlle Hampton

Can we get it back? Can we get it back?
Ooohhh that feeling we had when we were young
When we were young

Drive up the coast and get lost in the hours
Ooooh, no one has to know
Hold me tight by the radio towers
The sun comes up, we’ll make it home somehow

Can we get it back? Can we get it back?
Ooohhh that feeling we had when we were young
When we were young

Grab our friends and head down to the river
Ooohh, the sun can burn our skin
Stay all day ‘til we start to shiver
And pass the bottle ‘round and ‘round again

Can we get it back? Can we get it back?

And as the years go something changes
And we’re not just living for ourselves
And when it all starts getting faded
We want to remember how it was

Can we get it back? Can we get it back?
Ooohhh that feeling we had when we were young
When we were young
Oh you know that feeling we had when we were young
When we were young
Ooohhh that feeling we had when we were young
When we were young
Track Name: Rockingham Lane
ROCKINGHAM LANE – words and music by Noëlle Hampton
I didn’t know you lived on Rockingham Lane
The yellow house with the baby blue porch swing
My aching heart could finally feel no pain
‘Til I saw your car go down Rockingham Lane

Rockingham Lane
Is where I saw my love again
Rockingham Lane

Like a moth to a flame, oh I got burned
After all these years you’d think my heart would learn
How many times I have driven past this way
Now I know you are here and you live on Rockingham Lane

Rockingham Lane
Is where I saw my love again
Rockingham Lane
Is where I saw my love again

Just like you I’ve been moving on
I’ve had so many different lovers since you’ve been gone
What is it love’s made of makes it sting so bad?
The bitter pain of losing that thing you never had

Rockingham Lane
Is where I saw my love again
Rockingham Lane
Is where I saw my love again
Rockingham Lane
It’s where I saw my love again
Rockingham Lane
Track Name: Night Owl
NIGHT OWL – music and lyrics by Noëlle Hampton

Night owl, Night Owl
You’re racing through the blue light to my side
Night owl, Night Owl
Quiet through the cool air, do you fly

Night owl, Night Owl
Is it just the thrill, which we seek?
Night owl, Night Owl
Be on your way, but you’ll come back to me

Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down
Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down

Night owl, Night Owl
Will you calm my mind and ease my heart
Night owl, Night Owl
Please just calm my mind and ease my heart

Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down
Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down

Night owl, Night Owl
The stars have left, the sky is turning bright
Night owl, Night Owl
And now you’re gone, I heard your wings take flight

Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down
Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down
Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down
Darkness won’t you stay ‘til I go down
‘til I go down ‘til I go down ‘til I go down
Track Name: Island
ISLAND – words and music by Noëlle Hampton

The sands could blow away
A wave could hit today
But it’s way down deep- what holds us up

The storms just passed us by
And somehow we survived another crazy night

We are an island, island
Nothing can touch us way out here
And all around us love’s disasters
Are ships that fade then disappear

My friends keep giving up
And sink when water’s rough
But don’t fear, don’t fear, love will shine again

You’ll know it when it comes
The warmth of real sun
Can’t fool even the heartbroken one

We are an island, island
Nothing can touch us way out here
And all around us love’s disasters
Are ships that fade then disappear

So hold on tight through weather and through war
Sometimes what’s right is to love each other more
In times of anger
in times when you can’t find the strength to be together

We are an island,
We are an island
Island, Island
Nothing can touch us way out here
And all around us love’s disasters
Are ships that fade then disappear
Track Name: Just Like Gold
JUST LIKE GOLD – words and music by Noëlle Hampton

It’s pretty clear, by now I know you’re not a friend
You launch ahead, you leave your dust for everyone
But there’s no race and there’s no ribbon to be won
Just a pretty face, alone again without anyone

For what you put me through
Well I can forgive but you can’t undo

It’s times like this I count my blessings
For what’s real and true
And I wish somehow I could take back the love I gave to you
‘Cause it’s just like gold
In proper hands it can buy everything
But you spent it fast like cold hard cash
Now you have nothing

For what you put me through
Well I can forgive but you can’t undo

So what’s so hard, what could be so hard about trusting?
This ain’t no game
If you play your Queen I won’t play my King
I’m not here to trump you
I was only trying to be like golden wings
To an injured bird lying on the ground
With a song to sing

For what you put me through
Well I may forgive but you can’t undo
For what you put me through
Ooooh I, I, I can forgive but you can’t undo
Ooooh I, I, I can forgive but you can’t undo
Ooooh I, I, I can forgive but you can’t undo
Track Name: Sparrow's Cry
SPARROW’S CRY

The trees are blooming crazy in this town
The light has changed, and sun is sticking ‘round
The chill is through, the chill is through
Sometimes I need the comfort of your voice
And I know the consequences of my choice
But I think of you, I think of you

Ooooohh I hear a lonely sparrow cry
And as fast as winter’s here it says goodbye
Oh but time with you can always heal my heart
As it’s done from the very start

The fireflies will soon be on their way
And I finally had some time I could escape
The Texas sun, the Texas sun
And even just a couple days with you
You clear away the haze that makes me blue
In California sun, California Sun

Ooooohh I hear a lonely sparrow cry
And as fast as Spring is here it says goodbye
Oh but time with you can always heal my heart
As it’s done from the very start

And summer flies by and days you can’t recount
And the birds are back again
And I’m fine for the most part, but I could always use a friend

Of all the years that we have been apart
It’s funny how I never feel that far
Away from you, away from you
oooohhhh

Ooooohh I hear a lonely sparrow cry
And as fast as Autumn’s here it says goodbye
Oh but time with you can always heal my heart
As it’s done from the very start
Ooooohh I hear a lonely sparrow cry
And as fast as Winter’s here it says goodbye
Oh but time with you can always heal my heart
As it’s done from the very start As it’s done from the very start