Trop-pop siblings Wild Belle turn inward on Everybody One of a Kind | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Trop-pop siblings Wild Belle turn inward on Everybody One of a Kind  

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click to enlarge Wild Belle

Wild Belle

Leslie Kirchhoff

As Wild Belle, siblings and Chicagoland natives Natalie and Elliot Bergman construct a tropical pop sound that draws from rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall, West African music, and more. The eclectic mix is unified by Natalie’s smoky, sultry voice and Elliot’s equally sexy baritone saxophone and electrified kalimbas. For their brand-new third LP, Everybody One of a Kind, the Bergmans eschewed outside producers, opting to work almost exclusively on their own in Elliot's Chicago and LA studios. The result is what Natalie recently described to me as a “fully realized” version of Wild Belle—one that’s more airy, more down-tempo, and even more eclectic. Album opener “Rocksteady” is a breezy, spacey jam that builds off a steady bass groove and Elliot’s infectious baritone hooks while Natalie croons about being whatever her lover needs. After two more colorful numbers that sound like they were recorded in a rain forest, the pace slows with “Tumbleweed,” a sorrowful yet seductive ballad where Natalie sings of two performers kept apart by demanding travel schedules: “When the sun goes down / That’s when I need you the most / On the top of this hill / I see the world, but I’m alone.” Everybody is a playfully subdued ode to love, lust, and life that fits the vibe of the Bergmans’ new home base in Los Angeles. For their homecoming show at Metro, the siblings will be joined by their talented backing band.   v

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