If you are a long time reader of Already Heard then you will know our “Recommends” feature hasn’t appeared on this site for a number of months, and you’re probably wondering why. When we gave the site a fresh look back in January, we made a promise that the site would focus on bands that we genuinely like and think you, our readers, should know about. It is for this reason for the lack of “Recommends” features in recent months. Whilst there has been a plethora of new bands we love and support dearly, there have been very few that made us leap up and shout their name from the rafters. That’s until Bellevue Days came along.
The Croyden quartet are in good company with the likes of Twenty One Pilots, Moose Blood, Roam, Brawlers, Northlane, and more being “Recommends” alumni. Their debut EP, ‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’ has been gaining plenty of praise. We described the four-song collection as “an accomplished and compelling debut EP” and rightly so as ‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’ is a stunning release that is infectious from start to finish.
Despite it being their debut release, Bellevue Days story begins in 2013. “I was planning on moving to Brighton in the summer of 2013 when I came up with the idea of starting a new band, but last minute I decided to stay in my hometown of Rosehill.” says vocalist/guitarist Alan Smith, who formed the band alongside bassist Joe Blackford and drummer Jack Pavitt. They spent their early months as a trio before recruiting Daniel Lukes as their second guitarist, as Alan explains “After practicing as a three piece for a couple of months we felt we needed another guitarist to make the sound fuller. That’s when we contacted Dan. He was in another band at the time, and over time, we stole him.”
Since those early days, the quartet spent the best part of a year honing their sound, crafting a full, dynamic sound. When we asked Alan about the bands activity during this time he said “We’ve just been writing, listening to loads of music and hanging out lots. I guess this has helped our songwriting and understand each other musically and as people.”
From hearing ‘The Sun Came Up…’, it’s clear their friendships and understanding are tight-knit as tracks such as ‘Let’s All Be Friends’ and ‘Capability, Capacity’ prove to be organic and flow with ease, showing a grasp of what who and they, Bellevue Days, are about. “As we all have a part in writing, an eclectic taste is sort of gelled into one. It’s weird. It starts with lyrics or a melody, we arrange it, pull the whole thing apart and put it all back together again!” states Smith.
Stylistically their mix of grunge, alternative rock and indie isn’t anything revolutionary yet is executed brilliantly on ‘The Sun Came Up…’. However like nearly every new band coming through today, Bellevue Days have had their fair share of comparisons with names such as The Xcerts, Brand New and Manchester Orchestra being thrown at them, though as Smith explains this is expected; “As with anything, the bands you’re into are going to influence you. We’re massive fans of all of those bands.”.
Nevertheless ‘The Sun Came Up…’ has had a great response so far as bassist Joe Blackford told us. “The feedback has been awesome. People other than our mums and girlfriends seem to like the EP. I tend to prefer reviews which are brutal and give the reasons for not getting a 10/10.”
Undoubtly Bellevue Days are ones to watch and ‘The Sun Came Up…’ sets the benchmark high for future releases, yet they’re not a band ready to sit back and watch the fruits of their labour grow. “The near future plans are to release our second EP, which we are very excited about. We’ve be working with Jason Wilson again who produced our first EP.” tells Smith before Joe adds “We’ve retained that ambient guitar sound that you can hear in ‘The Sun Came Up’ but EP 2 has come out heavier, and grungier. In my opinion, it’s all around a better EP. We’ve actually made songs that have choruses this time too!”
It definitely seems like Bellevue Days aren’t going to be disappearing anytime soon. With work on the second EP wrapped up, the next step for the quartet is get out on the road and keep the momentum of ‘The Sun Came Up…’ going. “We would love to do some festivals next year, and just carrying doing what we love, writing music.” closes vocalist Alan Smith.
‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’ EP by Bellevue Days is out now.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)