Fledgling Melbourne and Castlemaine act The Bell Streets make their debut with the first of 10 songs to be released in 2020, the slick bedroom pop number, ‘Fragile’. Birthed from the somewhat inevitable partnership of Nick Batterham (The Earthmen, Blindside, Cordrazine) and Josh Meadows (The Sugargliders, The Steinbecks), The Bell Streets started writing songs together about a year ago after a collective three decades or so working and playing throughout the Melbourne music scene and beyond.
Having known each other since the early ’90s when they were both in prominent bands on the long gone but not forgotten Melbourne indie label Summershine Records, Josh and Nick have played on the same bills, toured together, borrowed each other’s instruments and have become great friends.
That friendship is about to bear fruit with the anticipated release of The Bell Streets’ debut album Monument, set to land Friday 3 April via Popboomerang Records. For now though, fans of Nick’s signature moody melancholy and Josh’s distinct pop sensibilities can revel in the first released material from the album on the new single ‘Fragile’. After writing the opening phrase and accompanying ascending piano line, Josh took his humble idea to Nick who quickly put flesh on it, adding loungey licks and melodic charm, to become the pop lullaby that is ‘Fragile’.
“Fragile. A song in praise of fragility and vulnerability – qualities that are not highly valued in the world we live in, where brashness, bravado and self-confidence dominate. To be vulnerable with each other is to be truly human. But, of course, to be vulnerable is to leave ourselves open to being hurt. So our inclination is to harden up, to close ourselves off, to keep our true selves hidden. The song is about honouring the fragility in another person.” – Josh Meadows, The Bell Streets
Emerging from weekly songwriting sessions in Nick’s studio, the 10 songs of Monument are genuine collaborations, with the pair sharing lyric writing and singing duties. The Bell Streets’ voices harmonise easily, as if they had been singing together for years. As they’ve worked on the record, making themselves vulnerable to each other (as songwriting requires), the two have grown closer. Sometimes Josh has come up with the key line to one of Nick’s lyrics. Sometimes vice versa. The resulting sound has a classic feel, but remains fresh and new. The Bell Streets’ songs are poppy, yet have substance. They are born from experience, rejection, steadfastness and unfaithfulness, playfulness, pleasure, forgiveness, new beginnings and gratitude.
Written and performed by Nick Batterham and Josh Meadows
Vocals by Josh Meadows
Recorded and mixed by Nick Batterham
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe