We found it. Mike and Jack Holland, Tyler Burdwood, and Matt Freake made the perfect music for your summer plans.
Mike Holland and guitarist Burdwood first played in bands together as 16-year-olds. The two went to high school together in New Hampshire and, come the college move in 2012, decided to form Bellwire as a long-distance songwriting project. “That summer, we found a drummer and I was playing bass for live shows, which I wasn’t happy about,” says Burdwood. “Mike’s brother Jack heard me whining ‘Why am I playing bass? I suck at bass!’ and offered to take over. Then we moved to Boston a couple years ago with our old drummer to give the band thing a real shot.”
It was a move that paid off in their favor. Whereas their first EP took on a bedroom quality—picture slow songs with the rumble of Sparklehorse or Bright Eyes at its core, the natural byproduct of dorm-room songwriting—their later songs began prying open rock in its most jovial form. “Once we could all play together and make a lot of noise, our recordings started to reflect the energy of our live shows,” says Burdwood.
That’s where the band finds itself now, sitting on their newest release, Dog Thoughts, which celebrates its proper album release this Friday. It’s full of quick-witted, wordy, power pop akin to Elvis Costello or early-day Pavement if they ever gave GZA and Gameboys shout-outs. It’s there in the slow roll of “JAKL,” the gleeful yelps of “Let It Shine,” and the sloppy confrontations of the title-track. Bellwire are wiggling their way into Boston’s local scene, choosing a spot somewhere snug between Mini Dresses and The Furniture.
“I’ve been trying to put the lyrics more in the forefront by packaging the new CD in a booklet instead of a case and opening up with a spoken word track. I like to think [that’s what sets us apart], the words and songwriting,” says Burdwood. “For the Dog Thoughts sessions we played with our old drummer, Andy Fordyce. He usually plays jazz, teaches music at U Mass Lowell and is into a lot of experimental improv music I find unlistenable. My favorite parts come from the chemistry between his heady approach to rhythm and my simple guitar hooks.”
Bellwire is excited to introduce its music to those still new to the band, something kept in mind with its moniker, an association-free word to avoid tinting the band’s image. “What I didn’t know at the time is that bellwire is what electricians use to wire doorbells,” laughs Burdwood. “So almost all of my Google Alert notifications involve Home Depot.” In time, those alerts will be for Bellwire with a capital B.
BELLWIRE, JONEE EARTHQUAKE BAND, MONKEYS OF A BYGONE ERA. FRI 7.1. ONCE SOMERVILLE, 156 HIGHLAND AVE., SOMERVILLE. 9PM/ALL AGES/$8. CUISINEENLOCALE.COM/ONCE-LOUNGE.