Always on the hunt for never-ending synth sounds and vocal harmonies, Belladon has become embraced rather quickly by their local music community. For being a relatively new band, their accolades have mounted at a rapid pace: they have had radio support from San Diego stations Rock 105.3 and 91x, have been featured on the Karl Strauss Brewing Co.’s YouTube series “A Red Trolley Show”, and were nominated for Best New Artist at the San Diego Music Awards in 2018. Their first gig in Los Angeles, at legendary dive Harvard and Stone, resulted in an invitation to record at 4th Street Recording Studio, a studio whose former clients include the Beach Boys, Alice Cooper and Mick Fleetwood, to name a few. They have been a featured artist on publications Women Who Rock, Treble Zine, City Beat and the San Diego Reader, with City Beat describing Belladon as an “80's throw-back to the Bangles” and Treble Zine noting Belladon’s sound as "glamorous electronic rock that demands more attention”. Belladon has also worked with Grrrl Independent Ladies, a respected platform that creates events featuring female-fronted bands from Tijuana, San Diego and Los Angeles.
The founder of the project, Aimee Jacobs (former member of Burning of Rome) started the group at a music collective in San Diego, where she works as a music educator by day and rehearsal leader by night. Jacobs plays synth and keys while acting as the focal point of the vocal section. Heather Nation, an accomplished solo act in her own right, is the group’s guitar player and additional vocalist. Belladon showcases the magnetic synergy between Jacobs’ and Nation’s melodic lines, all while lush keyboard and guitar arrangements provide the harmonic backdrop for their vocals to shine. The rhythm section, anchored by bassist Alex Bravo and drummer Billy Petty, are a rock-solid unit of their own. Bravo and Petty’s deep knowledge of jazz and funk styles are displayed with surprising dexterity, featuring exciting bass runs and groovy pockets that punch through even in the band’s heavier moments.
Belladon makes pop music, but not in the conventional sense. They are unique for their inter-weaving synth melodies and 3-part harmonies. Prince, Kate Bush, Siouxsie Sioux and Bjork would swim along Belladon’s sonic waters quite nicely, but Belladon’s high-energy live performances that utilize multiple melodic lines interacting without losing focus is what sets them apart from other bands.
Belladon is aimed towards more attentive listeners and clearly has no interest being the background ambiance of your conversation. The balance between the driving rhythm section and femme fatale melodic section is captivating, dueling, and nuanced. Belladon’s small but growing catalogue is refreshingly unique: beautiful, yet also aggressive, and dripping with personality. The first half of their double EP Dreaming/Dreading, out now on all streaming platforms, perfectly encapsulates all of the things that make Belladon a force to be reckoned with. The second half is due for release in July 2020.