Fresh from the premiere of ‘Dive Deep’ the brand new single from LA’s Andrew Belle, the first material to come from him since 2013! We’re very excited about his return and we’re sure that you will be too.
Hi Andrew! Your new single ‘Dive Deep’ has premiered, how excited were you for this?
I was so excited to release new music this month! It’s been about three years since my last record and I’ve been working on this new album for about 9 months now. I tend to write and record at a pretty slow pace but when I wrote Dive Deep it felt like a track that needed to be heard in summer so I rushed to get it out before the fall!
What can you tell us about the track? Any inspirations/sub-context we should know about?
Dive Deep was actually the last track that I wrote for this new album. I came up with the “we started a tidal wave – but you’re what I want and that’s all” line more than two years ago but it was set to totally different music and I couldn’t quite figure out what to do with it. I loved the words and the vibe but I knew that the music was wrong and I so took that phrase and began creating a new song out of it, set to different chords and a faster tempo. I wrote the chorus first, pretty quickly. I was thinking about how in a romantic relationship there’s always that phase early on where one person has to sort of take a leap and tell the other person how they feel – that they’re all in. It’s a pretty vulnerable and scary spot to find yourself in but exhilarating at the same time. I was also thinking about the broader themes of this new album and how I can’t help but reveal more and more of truest self in my songs and so when I wrote “This is my Heart – Dive Deep” I was saying to anyone listening to the music – these songs are my experiences and my stories; they’re who I am. I try to be very open and brutally honest in my music and so those words felt like a good way to sort of sum up what I’m all about when it comes to song-writing.
This has been the first material to really come from you in around three years, tell us a bit about what the past three years has consisted of for you?
People ask me that a lot and I have to really stop and think about where the time has gone! I spent a lot of 2013 and 2014 touring on Black Bear and Black Bear Hushed. I did a lot of headline shows around the country, some with Diane Birch. I went out and supported Joshua Radin and Brett Dennen for a bit; I took a few trips overseas and performed in Europe a bunch – and then in late 2014 and most of 2015 I was writing a lot for this new album. I moved around Chicago a few times and then across country to Los Angeles most recently – and that always takes a lot of time/energy. But like I said, when making an album I tend to really labor over songs and make sure they are exactly how I imagine them before releasing and so the process takes a while. I try to write the ten best songs that I can and really make sure every lyric and every measure of music is special; it’s just how I’ve always done it. My goal is to start putting out music a little faster than I have in the past but I will say, one thing that I love about putting out music every 3 years or so is that each album has the potential to really define a certain season in ones life. Not just my own but for my listeners as well. I love that kids who found my first album The Ladder in early high school were just starting college when Black Bear came out; I like to think about how the music played a part in that very formative time in their life. And maybe they’ll be just finishing that season and moving into the next phase of adulthood when the next thing comes out. The music has evolved over the years and I like the idea that my listeners are growing and moving forward in their lives right along with me.
What are you mostly looking forward to in returning with new material?
I’m looking forward to having some new songs to play live! In the past whenever I’ve been assembling a setlist for the live show, there are usually a bunch of songs that I either don’t like any more or just don’t work well live and so now that I’ve got another 10 or so to pull from. I’m also looking forward to hearing how these songs relate to and effect people’s lives. When I write a song I usually come away knowing what it means to me personally but I’m always blown away at how strangers I meet will find meaning in a song and use it to grow in ways I never even intended.
Being based in LA, how – if at all – would you say this has influenced your creative process?
I think just proximity to other creatives that I identify with has been really important Chicago has a huge music scene but I never did quite find my place there and so to have access to people I am inspired by and can create with regularly is invaluable.
Material off of your album got played on massive TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, are you a fan of these shows? How did it feel getting featured on them?
I can remember in college when Grey’s first came out they were breaking all of these cool indie singer-songwriters and I was thinking how incredible it would be to have something that I wrote provide the emotional backdrop to a really intense, dramatic scene. So when my songs were used in bunch of episodes it really overwhelmingly surreal; like things had come full circle and my dream of being an actual singer-songwriter was being realized.
Do you have any hopes for your new material to soundtrack anything?
This new record is a lot like Black Bear – a lot of electro and synth driven soundscapes with singer-songwriter style lyric and melodies on top of them. I’d love to see a show like Stranger Things find a use for some of the moments on this album.
Chad Copelin produced ‘Dive Deep’, what was it like working with him?
I’ve been working with Chad for 4 years now; he is the chillest, most patient guy to work with. We’ve developed a similar taste for music and he is constantly helping me to evolve my sound. He’s an incredible musician and is consistently pushing my songs to the next level musically. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff and is really laid back which, when making an album with someone, is really important.
How biographical is the subject matter of your new material?
Very. My music has always been directly inspired by experiences in my own life. The only thing that keeps me excited to write songs over and over again is if it’s actually about something true – it’s the only way I can connect with it emotionally.
What’s next after the release of this single?
A few more singles, a full album in the 2017, and then probably a bunch of touring!