After fronting Neva Dinova for more than 15 years, which included five full-lengths, a split EP, and countless tours, he packed up his dog and moved from his native Omaha to his girlfriend's hometown of Los Angeles. Two days before he left he recorded 18 demos with musician and engineer Ben Brodin at his insistence. Once in L.A., Bellows got a job installing sliding-glass doors and sold his Les Paul to buy a Datsun pick-up truck.
Though he had no plans to form a new band, he played the occasional solo show, performed withWhispertown, and continued to write songs. In early 2011, an invitation arrived from Omaha's Film Streams Theater for Jake's old friend Ryan Fox also living on the West Coast, to perform an original live film-score. Fox enlisted Bellows and Brodin to collaborate and the trio began to compose and discuss improvisational ideas over long-distance. Since they were all going to be in Omaha and had a long history of playing in each other's bands, Brodin and Fox nudged Bellows into booking studio time to record some of his dormant songs.
Fox and Bellows drove from LA to Omaha that November. They entered ARC Studios for a feverish recording session, arranging and writing parts on the fly with an impromptu band including Heath Koontz, Todd Fink, Whispertown bandmate Morgan Nagler and other old friends. Committing quickly to intuitive arrangements the band recorded 17 tracks in a little more than a week. They worked remotely on the record throughout that winter and spring, adding overdubs in basements and bedrooms across western North America.
The new music is underpinned by philosophical conviction and shaped by an interest in physics, cosmology and mythology. Bellows returned to music with a renewed sense of the intrinsic value of art and its ability to express the commonality of human experience. His debut full-length, New Ocean, offers a mix tape of different kinds of songs hanging out on one record - love songs that are not necessarily ballads despite their introspective gauziness, with left turns into drunk-in-the-sun bossa nova and blue-eyed-soul ruptured by fuzz guitar. Bellows believes that songs change the fabric of the universe through the very frequencies they emit. As such, the record attempts to create the world he wants to see instead of reflect the world that is.
Jake Bellows Tour Dates
09.02 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge #
09.03 - Eugene, OR @ Cozmic Pizza #
09.08 - Seattle, WA @ The White Rabbit *
09.10 - Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur *
# with Matt Pond
* with Pheasant
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.