Week in Pop: Amy Reid, Jake Bellissimo, XL Middleton

Sjimon Gompers

Baltimore's shining & rising star Amy Reid; photographed at B. Willow by Audrey Gatewood.

Jake Bellissimo

Get to know Jake Bellissimo; photographed by Andrew Links.

Jake Bellissimo presents the world premiere for the vintage home video nostalgia featured on the literally found throwback visuals for “Noise War”. Featured off Bellissimo’s upcoming The Good We’ve Sewn album available October 20 via the prestigious Italo by SF imprint We Were Never Being Boring (EU/US); the Rochester, New York artist works in manners of a modern day baroque that is not afraid to share the more stripped down & sentimental sides of their sound. The title of the song deceptively meshes together ideas of dissonance & adversarial conflict in what is actually executed by the classically trained composer & songwriter is something that careens with a sublime sort of serenity & peace of mind & spirit. Bellissimo began recording music under the moniker of Gay Angel that saw the release of the Piece Of Ivy EP to the massive release Floral released via their imprint Drunk With Love Records. Fresh from a European tour this past summer with a North American tour happening this fall; The Good We’ve Sewn spins a 12 song chamber pop cycle to add a touch of goodness & greatness to a world in need of brighter illuminations.

Jake Bellissimo’s “Noise War” strums out an intimate portrait of observing environments & natural orders with an acoustic lens of melodic & harmonic expression. With reiterations of my heart has not kissed this air before, Bellissimo treats the audience with the old found film footage where visuals of retro business folks dressed in formal suit attire are seen hob-nobbing about in a spirit of self-congratulatory glee that is framed by a camera view of Rochester, New York building rooftops & skies as seen through the criss-cross lattice of a window screen. The throwback film of dapper dressed individuals enjoying one another’s company over a lavish dinner & speeches dovetails with the brass & acoustic strums & vocals hums that makes things feel alight amid the tumultt & clamor that comprises our daily existences. Acknowledgements of changes where personalities & perceptions move from malice to something benign as Jake & company make a postulation of a personal kind of peace that is felt in abundance. With every strum & trumpet note, Bellissimo welcomes the wonders that growth & realization bring where an inward aspect of light shines bright outwardly for all to hear, see & feel in a collective congress.

Insights from Rochester’s own Jake Bellissimo; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Jake Bellissimo introduced us to their acoustic & delicate side with the following thoughts on the song & visuals for “Noise War”:

I wrote “Noise War” as a distraction when I was pressed to make a decision in a situation where I couldn’t see far enough in advance to understand the pros and cons of either possibility. I put it away and didn’t think much of it until a few months later when showing songs to a friend. What initially was a deviation felt poignant; lyrics I had written months ago all-of-the-sudden had an important context.

The video comes from a weekend when my dear friend Acadia (who also sings on the recording) drove up to Rochester to play a show and help shoot some videos. Though we didn’t use much of the footage shot, the atmosphere of working closely with good friends lingered after. It was around this time I discovered a video originally found at an estate sale in Massachusetts, it features a dimly-lit dinner party with businessmen congregating, no context provided other than the title this is your life. Though the origins of this video aren’t known, the tenderness is relatable—the morning after Acadia left, I woke up and filmed the sunrise, afterwards realizing that shot (alongside the aforementioned footage) summarized the weekend better than what we had shot, then heading straight to the computer to edit it down and put them together.

“Noise War” is taken from the Jake Bellissimo’s album The Good We’ve Sewn is available now from We Were Never Being Boring (US/EU)

Catch Jake Bellissimo’s October tour armed with an arsenal of percussive instruments, guitars, violas, electronics & more with Bellissimo’s own song soaring above all.

04 – Binghamton, NY
05 – Poughkeepsie, NY
06 – Brooklyn, NY
07 – Swarthmore, PA
08 – Wilmington, DE
09 – Carlisle, PA
10 – Philadelphia, PA
11 – Purchase, PA
14 – New Haven, CT
17 – Allentown, PA
18 – Oberlin, OH
19 – Meadville, PA
20 – Rochester, NY (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW!)
21 – Syracuse, NY
22 – Albany, NY
23 – Montreal, Quebec
24 – Burlington, VT
25 – Nashua, NH
26 – Amherst, NH
27 – Boston, MA
28 – Troy, NY

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