Bella White “The Way I Oughta Go” – choosing my own direction

Photo: Bree Fish

Bella White’s made quite a splash with her debut album ‘Just Like Leaving‘ which marked out the teenage White as a distinctive new talent in bluegrass and adjacent folk.  For her follow up ‘Among Other Things‘ there has been a distinct change of direction for the Canadian singer-songwriter who says, reassuringly, “I’m still so in love with bluegrass and that whole world” – well thank goodness for that, but she adds “I wanted to figure out who these new songs were without trying to fit them into a particular style, once I started stepping outside those margins, it really opened the doors for me. I felt completely free to explore and experiment, without being held back by any preconceived ideas of what my music is supposed to be.”

And, what her music is, whilst different from before, is still an indication of a singular talent – who knows what direction Bella White may take next, maybe scratchy folk-Americana, maybe synthesizers, maybe a churning rock jam band.  Who knows – but it’s likely to be good.

Among Other Things‘ was produced by Jonathan Wilson and features songs on which Bella White leans into her inner world—an element brought to life through her lived-in exploration of such complex themes as searching for purpose, the resilience of the human heart, and the deep-rooted tension between restlessness and inertia. Recorded at Fivestar Studios in Topanga Canyon, the album emerged from her free-flowing collaboration with Wilson and a stacked lineup of musicians, including Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek, indie-folk singer/songwriter Erin Rae, Drew Erickson (a multi-instrumentalist/string arranger known for his work with Weyes Blood and Lana Del Rey), and White’s long-time bandmate Patrick M’Gonigle (on fiddle, violin, and tenor guitar).

About Jonathan Aird 2728 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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