The last time Philthy Mag caught up with The Belle Game they were at 2013’s SXSW, where pianist and backing vocalist Katrina Jones explained to me, “At night, 6th street kind of feels like the Apocalypse, like there are no rules, anything can happen.  It’s madness.”  My recent chat with Andrea Lo, lead vocalist for the quirkily morose indie pop band out of Vancouver/Montreal, wasn’t quite so Apocalyptic, but it was preceded by about a week and half of missed calls, late-night/early-morning texts, and a general loss of communication (i.e. service) on behalf of the band, as they made their way across the border and into the states for the first stops of their current US tour.  However, once we finally worked out a time to chat, on the band’s drive from Minneapolis to Chicago, Andrea is not only in good spirits, but admits that, despite their troubles, their trip has also had its fair share of charm: “We got over the border and got the friendliest border guards we’ve ever had, like, he was literally like, ‘Let’s get you on the road,’ which never happens.”

The Belle Game’s debut LP, Ritual Tradition Habit was released last spring.  A number of its tracks are morbidly entrancing to a hypnotic degree, while others playfully explode with sonic profundities suited for soundtracking the climax of the best kind of coming-of-age epic.  Since its release, the band has been more or less continuously on, or just-off, the road, which Andrea tells me is their favorite thing about being in the band: “I think our favorite parts about it are getting to tour.  It’s super exciting to see how people receive the music and being on tour is just so great: meeting new people, seeing new countries, seeing new cultures.  We got to go to Europe for the first time last year, which was incredible.”

The band are about to get to work hard on some new music, which Andrea tells me they’re quite happy about: “We’re all super excited to be working on new music and excited to be pushing ourselves and challenging ourselves in that way again.  For the new music we wanted to be a little bigger and a little darker, at the same time.  I’m really into exploring different types of textures.”  However, as they’re looking to evolve, Andrea tells me that they’re all still truly in love with their debut: “We’re still really enjoying the album.  It was such a milestone.  It don’t think our feelings for it will ever change.”

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Before getting back into the studio after their tour wraps at the end of March, The Belle Game will be back in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.  They will be playing this Saturday, March 1st, at the North Star Bar, alongside Ski Lodge, Starlight Girls (who must be seen), and Literature.  Although Andrea tells me that the band will mostly be playing songs off of their first LP, they do have a new song to offer as well.  And when I ask what can be expected of the performance, she tells me, “I mean, we’re not a big, jump-around band, but we’re hoping we’ll have a really engaging experience, a mutual exchange with everyone in attendance.”

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