Bell Horses is a left-field pop outing from Xian Hawkins & Jenny Owen Youngs. The 8 songs that comprise their debut album work together to create a world of contrasts
both challenging & familiar. Arrangements blend acoustic instruments (guitars, strings, piano, percussion) with synthetic textures and samples while vocals sit up front in the mix, often doubling as instruments themselves. A subtle attention to detail reveals more with each listen. This Loves Last Time is about the infinite and the finite – things that cease to be but linger all the same.
The name Bell Horses is taken from a turn of the century song about horses passing in the night, strung with bells so as not to collide. An apt analogy for the working methods of this group whose members all live in different cities. Various parts of the album were tracked in Brooklyn, Berlin & London with the majority of the music being recorded, arranged & mixed by Xian Hawkins in a converted Victorian Church in Western Mass. This Loves Last Time succeeds as it becomes more than the sum of the individuals involved – all of whom have projects of their own.
Xian Hawkins records as Sybarite - making distinct & lauded electronica for a variety of labels, most notably 4AD, Temporary Residence & Ghostly International. His music has been featured in film & television. Jenny Owen Youngs is a singer songwriter who signed to Nettwerk Records in 2006 and recently released her sophomore record, Transmitter Failure, to critical acclaim. Also on the album isAlexander Ericson (Alberta Cross, Stjarna) contributing vocals to three of the tracks, Michael Lerner, drummer for NYC band The Antlers (Frenchkiss) & classical string player Eve Boltax.
This Loves Last Time was mastered by Denis Blackham (Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins) at Skye Mastering in Scotland. UK artist Rick Myers designed the sleeve - he has done covers for the likes of Doves, Dinosaur Jr. & John Cale, among others. Photographs were taken by California artist Noele Lusano. The album is the first release on the band’s own Trysquare label.