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2020 Charleston Mastering Workshop Series - March 20, 21, 22

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The sophomore full-length album from Chicago’s Wild Belle finds them widening their sonic palette with a set of moody, groove-oriented songs that also hit with a deeper emotional impact than the group’s summery debut. Some of this is purportedly due in part to lead singer Natalie Bergman ending a particularly toxic relationship during the recording process. Whatever the reason, her sanguine tone paired with brother Elliot Bergman‘s lush, booming arrangements lends Dreamland a dramatic heft the band’s laid-back tropical vibe might otherwise belie. Ironically, it’s one of the album’s more infectious and upbeat tracks, the hip-hop-inflected “Throw Down Your Guns,” that best exemplifies the idea of relationship as violent siege. Natalie sings, “I miss you so much, I’d rather be dead/Baby, take me on a ride up to Heaven/I had you deep in my lungs/You took the breath out of me all at once/And I’m sorry all that I’ve done.” Midway through the song she coos, “Nobody move, nobody get hurt,” invokingYellowman‘s classic 1984 reggae side.