Canada’s Del Bel are known for their downtempo pop-noir that owes more than a small debt to trip-hop. The group’s new album III will release April 7th via Missed Connection Records and Del Bel has a fresh new single in “Only Breathing” to whet your appetite for the full-length. This is subtle, layered, complex music that rewards multiple listens given that it’s nearly orchestral in its scope. Frontwoman Lisa Conway was combating some writer’s block in finishing up the record, and like many artists, she began to question herself and her work. That’s what “Only Breathing” is about, but you wouldn’t ever surmise from the music that Conway struggled with the song as it’s a moody and masterful display of her mesmerizing voice and all of the glorious musical parts that fill in the tune.
Conway tells PopMatters that “this song and the last track on the record have more personal origins than the others. I had taken too much on. I was at the height of an intense composition/songwriting residency at the Canadian Film Centre, I was mixing my record as L CON, and was scrambling to find inspiration for the Del Bel material. I had to write more things in a shorter period of time than I’d ever had to and was exhausted and lost. I didn’t believe in anything I was making. I didn’t know if I could write songs anymore. This song is about that—losing faith in your work, and yourself. Thankfully, some ideas took flight, and I was able to finish. Sometimes being stuck births nothing - sometimes, when the fates are kind, you stumble across something.”