The first time I saw Belgrado, they were opening for The Bellicose Minds in Vancouver. I was blown away by their frantic energy, and their songs have a classic dark post punk vibe that carries a lot of power. While the show at the official venue was fantastic, the house show they played the next night unleashed a chaotic energy that I’ll fondly remember for years to come. They managed to get through most of their set before the party was shut down by the cops. If you ever have the chance to see Belgrado perform live, please don’t miss it!
Belgrado is from Italy, so there aren’t normally a ton of chances for us North Americans to catch them. But they’ll be playing here again this August, and the only concrete date I know is August 25th at the Star Theatre in Portland (they’ll be playing with Cemetery, Soft Kill, Body of Light, Spectres, and Clan of Xymox!)
I first heard Be Forest in my friend Brad’s car. We had driven down to Seattle for a show and were on our way back to Vancouver. It was around 5am, and just as the sun was rising he put this album on. If you listen to the above video you might understand why I decided it was a perfect soundtrack to dreams. Be Forest have a gorgeous way of taking reverie and weaving it into a perfect post-punk/shoegaze sound.
The first album by this Italian group is titled Cold, and maybe because of the association with my first listen I always attribute a daydream-like quality to it that is relaxing and and meditative. ‘Wild Brain’ is my favourite track off of the release – it’s entrancing, fantastical, and danceable all in one. While I love every song on the album, ‘Thrill’ is probably my next favourite. The melody feels like it’s flying, grasping at something that can’t quite be caught, sensing inevitable sorrow but enjoying small happiness while it’s here. I’ve tried to decipher the lyrics to this song for a while, but I can only catch intriguing phrases here and there (and if anyone tracks down the lyrics to Cold, please leave a comment!)
Their second album, Earthbeat, was released in February of this year. To me, it mostly feels like a continuation of their first album (which is fucking excellent in my opinion, since I love it so much). There are subtle differences though, as if the musical story is slowly morphing into a new future. If I felt the first album had a feeling of fragile happiness that was expected to be shattered, the second album seems to have a warmer and more enduring strength to it. At the end of the album, I still had a sense that the underlying emotion was ‘enjoy this moment’s happiness while it lasts’, but perhaps there was a lingering hope that the happiness had a better chance of enduring this time. Musically my ears were loving the combo of instruments and ethereal vocals just as much, regardless of the emotional tone of the album. This group is definitely on my list to see live someday – great excuse to travel to Italy 😉
Like the music? Check them out at their label We Were Never Being Boring here.