A BELL LOCKS IN
TRACK - BY - TRACK
"MIA MY ONLY," from Blake Collins’ debut 5-song E.P., ‘A Bell Locks In,’ is a quirky guitar-rock song produced on analogue tape and featuring all the best classic pop sensibilities: memorable melody, concise composition, and a brevity that leaves you wanting more. The titular Mia embodies the universal desire to convert romantic dreams into romantic reality, while the hopeful plea to her communicates the immediacy of this shared experience. The granular guitars, bopping piano and pocket drums recall Emitt Rhodes’ 1970 self-titled album, establish the atmosphere and spontaneity easily found on early recordings by The Kinks, and guide Collins’ catchy vocal melodies, which would fit comfortably on Harry Nilsson’s ‘The Point.’
“IT’S SUMMER TIME” is the breakout single from Blake Collins’ debut E.P., ‘A Bell Locks In.’ A firm fan-favorite, it is a hot, dry summer made audible. The song features the ukulele as its main rhythm instrument and is accompanied by other mostly acoustic (as well as breath- , hand- , and wind-powered) elements, like bongos, finger snaps, acoustic bass, glockenspiel and wind chime bells, to achieve a sparse yet succinct arrangement that is reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s ‘RAM.’
"ZOE," the centerpiece on Blake Collins’ debut 5-song E.P., ‘A Bell Locks In,’ is the longest (and perhaps the most nostalgic) track on the album. Captured in one take, a story about lost friendship is told through a series of memories and draped in the intimacy of analogue bedroom pop that is simultaneously reminiscent of Elliott Smith’s confessional ‘From A Basement On The Hill’ and John Lennon’s exploratory ‘Mind Games.’
The lilting piano, weepy slide guitar and velvety string quartet lend the sepia-tinged vibe of an old photograph while the key change in the bridge and the haunting, yet unexpectedly playful, melodica solo highlights Collins’ prowess for sophisticated musical arrangement within a modest and succinct palette.