Described by Afropunk as “Eminently chill and sexy in equal measure but with out of this world complexity and musical sophistication,” Bells Atlas is a surreal blend of R&B, psychedelia, jazz and pop, rooted in the cultural bellwether of Oakland.
The group has supported a number of international artists and shared the stage with acts such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Badbadnotgood, Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello, W. Kamau Bell, Angélique Kidjo and many more. Bells Atlas has been making a name for themselves nationally as the touring band for NPR’s Snap Judgment since 2016, and recently wrapped up a sold-out tour supporting Bermuda Triangle, side-project of Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard.
The group’s latest album Salt and Soap, showcases lead singer Lawson-Ndu’s experimental vocal techniques which stem from a deepening comfort with her bandmates and a renewed sense of freedom in her expression. The group stumbled upon a new songwriting process for these songs, with bassist Doug Stuart and Lawson-Ndu writing over grainy drum recordings from drummer Geneva Harrison and recording their most natural, immediate responses. With degrees in classical theory and jazz studies, the group’s new found methodology strikingly contrasts to the band members formal music backgrounds.