‘Karma’ from Bellstop …alternative folk rock with Americana touches(November 02, 2015)
Plugged in folk, alternative folk rock, folked-up rock – call it what you will (they call it ‘folk and roll’) ‘Karma’ from Bellstop certainly has passion and presence, perhaps gutsy folk with overtones of raw rock best sums it up. Their combination of clearly Americana influenced folk and rock demands attention and rewards with some seriously good tracks (and some closer to average). Bellstop is Icelandic duo Rúnar Sigurbjörnsson and Elin J. Bergljotardóttir, and 'Karma' tells the story of their life for the last three years. As autobiographic albums go this one exposes feelings and experiences but doesn’t overload the listener with too many hard to relate to personal issues, rather it’s an open sharing of sensations.
This is one of those albums that offers some shining gems among some less sparkling offerings, and no matter how far this duo travel it has the mark of their native Iceland stamped all over it. The folk rock side of things opens with ‘Trouble’, before songs like ‘Moving On’ and ‘Ravens’ offer a more laid back Americana edge. ‘Friends in High Places’ moves into a bluesy vein with strong ballad vocals, a brooding, introspective ‘Daylight’ slips back to the Americana folk feel, while ‘Mister’ returns to the raunchy rock side, the quietness of ‘Serenity’ closes.
‘Karma’ releases in the UK on 16 November. Website: bellstop.is
Review: Charlie Elland