Music

Harpist Lucinda Belle Channels Charming Contemporary Jazz with "I'll Be Loving You" (premiere)

Photo courtesy of the artist

Acclaimed San Francisco harpist Lucinda Belle brings her instrument to an endearing composition reminiscent of 1940s and 1950s jazz and vocal pop.

Following years overseas wooing audiences in the United Kingdom with her jazz stylings, harpist, chanteuse, and songwriter Lucinda Belle now bases herself out of San Francisco leading up to the release of her newest album, Think Big: Like Me. Over the course of her decades playing the harp, Belle has continuously sought to expand beyond the classical mold of the National Children's Orchestra into something with far more of a jazz and vocal pop sway. Belle has made music in the studio and on stage with the likes of Natalie Cole, Annie Lennox, Robbie Williams, and others while honing in on her idiosyncratic incorporation of the instrument into a jazz form.

"I'll Be Loving You" takes cues from jazz-noir, forming a rhythmic turn somewhat akin to music put out by the likes of Amy Winehouse or Corinne Bailey Rae. Belle's latest also carries a particular charm reminiscent of older eras, glistening in old-style Hollywood sheen. It's a delightful crossroads of jazz styles and cultures that permeates the track, with Belle's rich, sweet croon bringing it all together as a horn and string band blossoms around her. Her harp cedes naturally into the mid-tempo earworm's instrumental procession, offering an extra ounce of individualism and eloquence to classic arrangement.

Belle states, "This song was the first song written on my forthcoming album, Think Big: Like Me. I remember feeling so raw in my emotions at the time, that I was crying and laughing at my crying in between verses. It was the song that began the album; it represents the feeling of moving on... letting go. I wanted to write something with groove, depth, and sentimentality."

To capture that particular resonant essence enveloping the song, Belle visited London's Toe Rag Studios to cut the single. She says, "I wanted authenticity all the way, so I chose Toe Rag, which meant I cut this song using an 8-track in a 1950s recording studio in two live takes. The warmth you feel on this recording isn't digitally manufactured. It's from 1950s pre-amps, spring verbs, and desk."

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