Imagine a peaceful lake, surrounded by giant pine trees, a fire crackling by your side, the slight breeze of a warm night grazing your skin. You are living a deeply awakening yet heart-wrenching summer romance. The story ends. You are broken, yet forever transformed. Bells Larsen’s new EP, If I Was, I Am, would be the ideal soundtrack to this Canadian version of Call Me by Your Name.
Larsen’s vocal harmonies and poetry are reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel and the song’s floating themes, almost suspended in time, evoke the gentle sounds of Sufjan Stevens. The Montreal-based songwriter seems to take the best from the big names of folk and make it his own. The weeping slide guitar and soft banjo harmonies form a unique tone, oscillating between sad cowboy in his ranch and enchanted forest soundscapes.
Embracing a midsummer stillness, Larsen’s minimalist record is a breath of fresh air. Minor recording flaws are left as hints of a homemade album. Larsen also embraces a lo-fi style in their music video for “Ten Hands,” in which he documents his transition through tender moments lived with their lover.
Romantic and bittersweet, « If I Was, I Am » oozes folk summertime sadness.