Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Housefire” by Brooklyn-based songwriter Bell from her 2008 self-released, self-titled EP.
Bell is actually the surname of Olga Bell, who was all of five when she started playing music. Born in Russia and raised in Alaska, the singer-songwriter studied piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston before making the move to New York. Once there, she bought a laptop and found her spare, delicate sound. Comparisons to Bjork appear in just about every introductory post about her, and for good reason: not only do her pixie-ish looks and dynamic vocals recall the Icelandic singer, but she has even gone so far as to record one of Bjork’s songs, “It’s Oh So Quiet.” (A quick search around the internet will also reveal more covers, including a medley of Radiohead’s “Videotape” and Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser” and a version of the classic Mancini tune “Moon River.”) On her EP and especially live, though, Bell has a charm all her own, whether she’s clapping like a flamenco dancer or giddily dancing behind her keyboard. Right now, her music is completely DIY and available on her website and MySpace page.
Listeners in Brooklyn can catch Bell on December 8 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg for a Stereogum Party with Violens and Deerhunter. For a preview, check out this live performance at Pianos during CMJ last month:
Bell @ CMJ 2008 from tinymixtapes on Vimeo