Wisconsin brothers leave school, retreat to the woods and emerge with psych-soaked collection of songs filled with surprises.
Wisconsin doesn’t offer up its secrets easily. Sure, there are the urban stretches: Milwaukee, Madison, the well-paved terrain of Green Bay but there are those quiet, wooded areas, too. The tree-lined rural highways of Marinette County, the curving, narrow roads of Walworth, Dane County’s haunting beauty. There are all those blink-and-you-miss-it stops that dot the state end to end. Those are the mysterious spaces the brothers Max and Mitchel Bell found themselves after tuning in, turning on and dropping out of Chicago and Milwaukee.
The duo Blue Sails takes solace in the thick, heavy-stringed sounds of Pink Floyd, the expansive, geography-defying tendencies of Spiritualized and the psychedelic breakfast-gobbling MGMT. In those eerie, pink and blue-bathed Dairy State mornings and purpled-hued afternoons, Blue Sails was born and set loose upon the larger world. That’s all there in the music, from the early, meditative moments of “Beloved” to the deeply soulful ‘70s throwback “For Now”.
The brothers offered a collective statement regarding their debut, saying, “We wanted to make the instruments and sounds disguise themselves as different sources. Guitars sound like synthesizers, voices like violins, books falling to the floor sound like thunderclaps. Nothing is concerned with chasing and perfecting a pre-existing idea. We wanted to shuffle the deck and create something seemingly accidental and yet perfect for the individual song.”
The self-titled debut from Blue Sails is out 20 October and may be ordered here.