Belle Mt. (pronounced ‘Belle Mont’) are ready to pull at your heartstrings with the release of their enigmatic debut single Hollow out now via LV Music.
A dark tale of a woman unable to let love in, Hollow flows with sweeping strings, delicate melodies and lead singer Matt Belmont’s soaring vocals. Exuding a cinematic, evocative power and rich layers, it’s an epic ballad with lyrics that echo the emotive storytelling charm of Leonard Cohen. Of the track and its protagonist, Belle Mt. explain: “There’s the impression of a fork in the road for this woman and ultimately she takes the tragic path, as she can’t accept the intimacy or love that this man is committed to giving. Hollow is as much about her loneliness as his eventual emptiness…”
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Belle Mt. about influences, the latest project, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of Hollow below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into you, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
Hey MTM, thanks for chatting to me. I wouldn’t say that we’ve deliberately tried to fit into any particular genre or space, the style that has materialised is an evolution of the artists and music that have inspired me. I want each track to take the listener to a different headspace, with ethereal layered and often epic soundscapes. This is where working with Femke (Femke Weidema, Producer) has been pivotal, her background in composition for film with Hans Zimmer really brings a lot to the project and helps to achieve such a cinematic sound.
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
Music creation and expression is something that I’ve always been driven to do, starting with writing short piano pieces as a kid and then into my first heartbroken songs as a teenager, it’s just how I make sense of the world. It’s not something that was particularly encouraged, a job in music is a risk. For example, my Dad’s first priority was always for us to have financial security and independence above anything else, but I just couldn’t see myself being happy doing anything besides music so following some very unsuccessful attempts at regular reliable work, I started to forge my own path. I find it incredibly rewarding to have something that I’ve written reach a large audience and hopefully affect, heal, transport and inspire them; I’m not saying it achieves all of that… but that is the aim!
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
As a kid my taste was my dads taste; Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac. As an early teenager things get embarrassing so we’ll skip past the Robbie Williams years. I then got very eclectic just wanting to hear anything and everything and luckily my brother had a major CD buying addiction, so I had access to this giant library of tunes leading me to an Eminem phase, Dark Side Of The Moon phase and finally an enduring ‘The Smiths’ phase. Currently I’m inspired by how Bon Iver and Radiohead evolve and push boundaries with each new album they release. This is all amongst binges on Paul Simon and regular trips back through ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
Belle Mt has been my obsession and pretty much the be-all-end-all of my existence for the last couple of years. It’s the distillation of a sound I started experimenting with back in 2015; concentrating on epic soundscapes. I wanted each track to have this power of transporting the listener whilst honestly reflecting on my own life experiences through lyrics that mean something, I’m concentrating on creating music that I love with collaborators that I respect deeply. In the studio Femke has elevated the sound of the project in ways I don’t think I could have possibly achieved without her and then in the band having Chris and Ben inspires new directions and energy. It’s all just an ongoing evolution aided by surrounding myself with the best creative minds I know.
What was the last song you listened to?
‘Brother’ by Anna Pancaldi. Its one of the most passionate vocals I’ve ever heard, soaring over a stunning piano performance. I’ve heard her singing this live in an old church and everyone in that room felt her pain right down to their bones.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
For convenience I stream most of the music I listen to but I own some vinyl and I love everything about it. The crackle, the sound, the artwork! Unfortunately my vinyl system isn’t good enough to distinguish the analogue bump in quality but I’m working on that.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I stream a lot and Spotify and Apple Music have both been incredibly kind to us with this release so I couldn’t possibly choose between them. I would like Apple Music to introduce streaming numbers in the player though! I host pre-release drafts of songs we’re working on privately on Soundcloud which is also great if you want to stay neutral from the big boys.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
Yeh, you’ll never shout your way through the noise! So its important to tune out what everyone else is doing and concentrate on making songs and productions that you love, the rest will follow. I’d say a big challenge is how cautious everyone is in the industry these days. No one wants to take a chance on anything but a sure thing, so that can result in a bunch of people waiting to see who’ll jump first and then you’ll have a mad rush of labels once the first has gone. It’s strange to me and really not something I’m interested in getting involved in before the time is right.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram currently. Apparently Follows and Hearts on streaming service are important, as well as adding songs you like to your own playlists. I don’t know, it changes every week. Lets say google… you’ll find us.
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
Thanks for the platform to get the word out there! I’d just love people to listen as some will love what we do and others will hate it and that’s cool with me as long as they feel something! In an ideal world everyone’s first experience of the songs would be in a darkened room, slouched on a beanbag with the speakers turned up and no interruptions.