Oh magical Olga Bell, welcome back. Last time we heard from the Moscow-born, Alaska-raised, BK-based singer was last year when she released her album Krai—Russian for "edge" or "limit"—a mystically strange record that is simultaneously soothing and delightfully odd to the ear, a swirl of layered vocals, keening strings, and unexpected interludes. A somehow appropriate release for an artist who cut her teeth touring as a vocalist and keyboardist for Chairlift and Dirty Projectors, as well as one half of Nothankyou with the ever underrated Tom Vek. (God, their guitary-synthy-dance-pop grooves still sound so good even two years later.)
In any case, below is the premiere of "Incitation," the first song lifted from her forthcoming EP of the same name—and her first since signing to One Little Indian. It's a much more straight ahead pop song than anything on Krai, yet its target is still wonderfully left of center.
"Emotionally, this EP is my trip to the bottom of the well," Bell explains. "I wrote these five songs, particularly the first and the last, during a time when I felt I had wrecked my life. Though I'm in a more optimistic place today, I remain grateful for the outlet of this EP.
"In both form and content, I wanted the title track to be as kinetic as possible. I wanted it to have a relentless propulsion that wouldn't let up until the end. The chorus sums up the essence of the whole EP: "Don't go gently, incitation / Do your damage/ Undo me over again."
It is a tantalizing taster of what's to come. Slot this girl next to Bjork, St Vincent, Georgia, and iamwhoiamwhoami. Very good company indeed.
Kim Taylor Bennett is all about odd-pop and she's on Twitter.