Record Review: Bella Ruse

Bella Ruse
Minneapolis, MN

“Glockenspiel, guitar, and a kazoo, too”

Bella Ruse is a two-piece band composed of Kay Gillette and Joseph Barker. Kuhzoo, their latest, wonderfully exemplifies their minimalist folk/indie music. With a sound like a mix between Kate Nash and Regina Spektor, Kay Gillette’s voice is truly unique. Not only are the vocals distinctive, but the instrumental accompaniments of Joseph Barker – and a few other collaborators – stand strong behind them, planting the duo solidly in the folk music scene.

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Upbeat vocals are the common denominator throughout this record, with steady supportive instrumentals to back them up. Gillette and Barker – with the help of some friends – whistle, clap, and play the kazoo. But their music isn’t all bubbles and buoyancy. Intermixed with these lively elements are some more somber sounds and lyrics, such as those of “Dislocating,” a song about a relationship’s potential to drown you in love (sometimes dangerously so) or the haunting resonance of “Like Spinning Plates.”

Kuhzoo is one of those catchy, smart records that will stick in your mind even after you’ve taken off your headphones. It’s 37 minutes that you will not only enjoy, but that you will ultimately keep coming back to for further listens. (International Sock Monkey)

Produced, mixed and mastered by Joseph Barker

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