Skip Navigation
NPR News
The Lone Bellow's self-titled debut comes out Jan. 22. (Courtesy of the artist)

First Listen: The Lone Bellow, 'The Lone Bellow'

Jan 6, 2013

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

Stephen Thompson

Related Topics at NPR.org

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

Zach Williams didn't initially set out to form The Lone Bellow; in fact, he never really meant to write songs at all. For the singer and bandleader, creative expression first arose out of a need to process the horrors of an accident that almost left his wife paralyzed from the neck down. It wasn't until he'd written his thoughts in a journal and shared them with a friend that he saw fit to transform them into songs, then move to Brooklyn and assemble a band to play them.

The Lone Bellow toured with The Civil Wars prior to that duo's hiatus — producer Charlie Peacock produced both of their respective debuts — and soon signed the label deal that spawned its fine self-titled debut, out Jan. 22. But if The Lone Bellow breaks big, which seems like a decent possibility, it'll be with songs of survival and redemption, written out of necessity rather than opportunity.

Still, The Lone Bellow's music has commercial cachet to spare, as the roots-pop rumble of Mumford & Sons mixes agreeably with the more emotionally resonant folk-rock belting of The Swell Season or the aforementioned Civil Wars. (Williams vocals in "Two Sides of Lonely" and "Looking for You" are pure Glen Hansard, which is hardly a bad thing.) But what stands out most about The Lone Bellow isn't any similarity to other artists, but rather its radiantly hooky songs: They're the engine that drove the band's creation, rather than the other way around, and it shows.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.