By Jacob Ezra
Pittsburgh’s Connie Roses has connected with Royal Haunts for a new single called “Bells and Bugs”. Following up his recent single, “The City”, which incorporated influences from hip-hop and punk for a cathartic, raucous listen, “Bells and Bugs” shows a different side of Roses musically, with vibrant, airy sounds and R&B flourishes. “Bells and Bugs” is textural and character-rich like many releases in his discography, yet finds him exploring some new territory, with melodic-leaning vocals and a more laid-back, yet still vaguely unsettling, mood.
Like his previous single “The City”, “Bells and Bugs” expresses frustration, but in a more subtle way, through abstract imagery and sounds that recall a colorful kaleidoscope. The song’s atmospheric synths, watery keys, and bouncy percussion feel minimalistic, yet at the same time create a “sheet of sound” effect, to intriguing results. Atop the vivid instrumentation, Roses and Royal Haunts deliver contrasting yet cohesive performances, finding a natural chemistry as they balance hip-hop influenced deliveries with melodic inflections. Their performances interestingly blend the uncertain with the calm, playing a large role in the mercurial feel that is central to the track.
“Bells and Bugs” does an effective job of balancing contrasting sounds and moods in a cohesive manner, primarily relaxed and expressive yet with a constant undercurrent of something uncertain. The song conjures a feeling of anxiety about existence in today’s chaotic modern world, yet is moored and grounded by rich, sturdy grooves, and a potent vibrancy.
Listen to “Bells and Bugs” now:
Watch the video for “Bells and Bugs” here: