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Saturday August 30th 2014

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Hangout Fest ’14—Looking Forward with Wild Belle

by Joani Delezen

If you’re looking for a band on this year’s line-up that sounds like Hangout Fest feels, look no further than Wild Belle. The duo, made up of siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman, might have grown up in and around Chicago, but their sunny sound is a perfect fit for the beach. They’ve been touring in support of their debut album ‘Isles’ pretty much non-stop since it came out in 2013, but that hasn’t stopped them from looking forward and working on new music. The IN caught up with Natalie while the band was in Mexico doing just that and asked her a few questions about songwriting, recording and getting tough.

IN: Is a sophomore album on the horizon anytime soon?
NATALIE: We’ve been working on it for the past year actually. We live on the South Side of Chicago, and we have a studio that’s just like a few blocks from our apartment, so it’s really easy to get over there and we’ve just been writing and editing. We also got to go work with our friend (and The Black Keys drummer) Pat Carney in Nashville for a few weeks. We recorded in Jamaica for a week too.

IN: Do you have a release date yet or is still too early to call?
NATALIE: I’d love to put it out in the fall, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen. We’ll probably finish it in the next month or so and hopefully we can put a single out then.

IN: Can we look forward to hearing any of the new stuff at Hangout?
NATALIE: Definitely. The guys in the band are going to come to Chicago a few days before we leave and I’m going to teach them the new stuff.

IN: How does the songwriting process work for you as a duo?
NATALIE: It’s different each time. We just try and conceptualize a feeling and get into a mood and start from there. Maybe we’ll start with a guitar line or bass part, and then we just keep layering. We add a lot of instruments and just keep piling it on and then take it away.

IN: I read somewhere that you named your debut LP ‘Isles’ because every track resembles its own island. Can you explain this a bit more?
NATALIE: When I said that, what I meant was that I wanted each song to be its own world that you could lose yourself in. I’m excited about this new record because I think we did that. I also feel like it’s a little tougher and meaner.

IN: A lot of people think of Wild Belle as a fun, kind of beachy band, based on ‘Isles.’ Do you think this “tougher” sound will change people’s perceptions of you?
NATALIE: Yeah, I think it sounds like Wild Belle but with some evolution and a progression. It’s a little bit like “You think we’re a sweet, beachy band? We’ll fuck you. Here’s the next step.” I’m just excited to get something new out and hopefully take people on a journey like we did with the first record.

WILD BELLE
Saturday, 6-7:15 p.m.
BMI STAGE