Pole to Pole
The five-piece Brooklyn, New York Americana band Bel Air are pleased to announce the release of their debut album on Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Formed in the wake of the successful garage act Breakup Breakdown, Bel Air's three founding members (Allie Langerak, Jeffrey Mensch & Wyatt Tuzo) decided for a very different musical approach than their previous incarnation. Where Breakup Breakdown was known primarily as a touring band, Bel Air recorded and completed Pole to Pole before ever playing live. The album was recorded by Tuzo in the band's Greenpoint practice space surrounded by the constant noise of other band's rehearsals. You would never know this though, as the album is filled with intimate arrangements filled with acoustic guitars, percussion, melodica, saxophone, keys and multi-layered male and female vocal harmonies. Part of the record was even recorded on the road as the band set up a mobile studio in Philadelphia in order to have famed slide guitarist Mike 'Slomo' Brenner (Magnolia Electric Company, Marah) perform on a few tracks. While Bel Air's arrangements and production is decidedly country-tinged, the songs are still rooted in the foundation of rock and pop music. Jeffrey Mensch's five compositions harken back to the 60s British Invasion and 90s alternative rock as core elements, while Allison Langerak's five songs conjure of memories of the Brill Building, relying heavily on the beauty and power of her stunning voice. The album is rounded out by two compositions by Wyatt Tuzo that add another key element to the Bel Air sound, as they pull their influence from experimental music and filter those ideas into the Americana framework. Compiling the influences of these three diverse writers into one album makes for a compelling and addictive listen that somehow moves beyond the classification of Americana into something wholly new that can best be described at 'dream country.' New York performances are forthcoming and the band is rounded out live by a fourth member of Breakup Breakdown, Drew Kilpatrick on drums and former Vitamen member Matt Hyams on bass.