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STYH introduces...: Bela Takes Chase

Added 15 May 2013 by Peter

Listeners to the Straight To Your Head Mix Show 18 will already be familiar with Bela Takes Chase. Here at STYH-HQ, we were immediately taken with Bela's clean, fresh sound, and gave her the opening honours on the show, with her single, "Miles Away".

So, what do other critics say? Well, it's all very positive:

"Simply outstanding, her voice is rich, hazy, delicate, fragile and sumptuous all at the same time." - FSOL

"The song exposes itself in a blur of heady atmosphere and strings. Bliss" - Music Week

"A photogenic lass with choruses as big as Robert Smiths 80's hairdo." - Andy Von Pip's Musical Express

"She effortlessly juggles looks, talent and ambition; tailor made for mainstream success." - Drunkewerewolf

We want to hear more from Bela, and we hope you do to. Her blending of uptempo and downbeat has led Independent Music News to describe her music as "Rough-Luxy" hence the title of her first EP. Her sumptuous vocals are currently drifting across Balearic shores as featured vocalist/co-writer on hotshot DJ/Producer Audiofun's instant classic "All For You". The late summer feeling of ennui channelled by this uplifting gem has generated over 22,000 views on YouTube, going to number 8 in club charts and featuring on both Radio 1 and Capitol dance shows.

But Bela's own songs can often be on the darker side, especially lyrically. While she sounds young, her words seem older: "I write because there's no other way for me to grow and learn."

Arriving on these shores from her native town of Newcastle, Australia, home of The Screaming Jets and Silverchair, Bela's distinctive voice, remarkable set of haunting tunes, and memorable lyrics have made waves around the acoustic circuit in London and earned her immediate attention, including plays on Tom Robinson's show on Radio 6.

Asked about her influences Bela says "My childhood consisted of my parents playing one night of Simon and Garfunkel and the next Bach, then an afternoon of James Taylor and an evening of Debussy. Oh and the Beatles, of course."

However it was Bela's older brothers' penchant for the somewhat noisier Rage Against The Machine and Nirvana, and her own discovery of Radiohead, PJ Harvey,Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie , which may be behind her decision to recruit musicians and make a bigger bang. "I wanted to find a sound somewhere between acoustic and electro, a fuller sound."

Bela plays guitar, piano and synths on her recordings and, with the support of her band, balances playing these whilst fronting with her unique vocal. This hasn't meant that she has abandoned the acoustic side though. "We still do quiet songs in the set and they work really well after an up tempo song like Miles Away."

Speaking of which "Miles Away" has been play isted at over 100 mainstream and specialist radio stations now including NME and Q radio and was listed as one of Tom Robinson's (Radio 6) Fresh Faves. and included on his famous Mixtape. The set of gigs around London in Sept/Oct were brilliantly received. Bon Bonnie at The Music Press says "Bela sounds as beautiful as she looks" Roisin Kheller at Independent Music News says "Bela is amazing live. This is definitely One to Watch".

Check out Bela's new single, "Miles Away", on the Straight To Your Head Mix Show 18. You can stream it or download it directly from this site, or find the podcast in the iTunes store.