Trying to nail down the sound of Bells Atlas is a bit like narrating the inner workings of a kaleidoscope – where it’s more about tripping out than nailing it down.
A surreal blend of r&b, psychedelia, jazz, and pop, rooted in the cultural bellwether of Oakland, CA, Bells Atlas has supported a number of international artists and shared the stage with acts such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Badbadnotgood, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, W. Kamau Bell, Angélique Kidjo and more. They have also been making a name for themselves nationally as the touring band for NPR’s Snap Judgment since 2016, and recently wrapped up a sold-out tour supporting Bermuda Triangle, side-project of Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard.
Channeling at once the ramshackle lo-fi beats of Tune-Yards and the sighing lullabies of Sade, Bells is like the passing bubbles of an unknown aquatic lifeform, music percolates from depths untaken, playing in a deep blue pool of life, death and the fluid in- between. 2018 promises to be a big year ahead for Bells Atlas – with a 10’’, full length LP and accompanying EP of all-original material prepped for release and club dates throughout the US.
Opening the evening is local favorite and inimitable talent, Kafari – a synth, drum machine, and rhythm bones-wielding pianist, beatmaker, and sonic-tinkerer melding disparate sounds from contemporary neo-soul to 19th century classical, drum&bass electronica to boom-bap hip-hop, and burning jazz to hypnotic ambient. We welcome Kafari back from a recent solo tour through the US in support of his latest release, Beholding.