Album Review: Ritual Tradition Habit

Kassandra Mitchell, Contributor Ω

Indie pop-rock’s The Belle Game release their first full-length album Ritual Tradition Habit Oct. 9, hoping to satisfy their growing fan base. Unlike their previous EP’s Inventing Letters and Sleep to Grow, lead singer Andrea Lo takes complete vocal leadership. Her dark tone and ability to perfectly compliment the musicianship speaks volumes to their growth as a collective.

The Belle Game has a similar sound to that of Florence and the Machine, and listeners will enjoy the sounds of piano, drums, guitars and even the trumpet on occasion. It’s Lo’s voice that steals the show however, delivering beautifully upbeat lyrics on every track.

On the album’s second song “River,” Lo chiefs instrumental direction with her powerful voice, making it one of the album’s strongest songs. The album’s single, “Wait Up For You,” does a good job of striking a balance between lyrical rhythm and percussion. The song lingers in your ears long after it’s over. Although “Salt + Water” seems out of place amongst stronger vocally-led tracks, the overall feel of the album indicates a budding future for these indie art-rockers.

Hailing from Vancouver, B.C., The Belle Game recently opened for international pop icon Gotye and has found increasing popularity on the Canadian West Coast, playing festivals such as Vancouver’s Summer Live in 2011 and Canadian Music Festival this past March.

The six member group has been building momentum over the past two years and after being named one of the best bands of Vancouver by The Georgia Straight, a path with no destination but success seems laid out before them.

In the end, it’s an enjoyable album, consistent in both sound and feel. With upbeat melodies, strumming guitars and beautiful piano riffs, it will leave people in a good mood. Fans who are delighted with the 12-track list will also get a chance to see them at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver next month. The challenge for this group will be maintaining their characteristic sound while continuing to grow as artists, creating something that is uniquely their own. Nevertheless, the new album suggests a step in the right direction.