Bells Atlas nail their funky yet mellow flow on Future Bones

Bells Atlas of Oakland, California are emerging with some seriously soulful and funky beats with their latest single Future Bones. This mellow tune is teamed with jungle inspired drum beats and some super smooth percussion, and is really easy to listen to and chill out with.

Bells Atlas

Led by Sandra Lawson-Ndu’s gorgeous vocals, California foursome Bells Atlas nail the dynamic of mellow vocals and funky, soulful arrangements.

Bells Atlas was formed in 2012 as a collaboration between singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu and bassist Doug Stewart. Not too long after, this duo became a foursome, with Geneva Harrison joining on the drums and Derek Barber taking over on the guitar. They describe their style of music as “Blending heavy percussion, soulful vocal harmonies, and thoughtful arrangements”, which gives them their distinct and unique sound.

It is really Lawson-Ndu’s vocals that stand out on Future Bones. Her voice has such a purity and innocence to it, and is just so natural and raw. Mixed with the layers of beats, guitar, bass and percussion, these sounds all balance seamlessly to produce this delightful piece of music. Future Bones connects to themes of comfort and familiarity with surprise and adventure which is evident through the vocals and music, even though they have quite different sounds. The vocals are very mellow, while the beat is funky and busy, they flow and intertwine so well.

This song pulls inspiration from hip-hop group Outkast, and the band members’ need for a creative escape on an Oakland summer day (the song has quite a strong summer and beachy vibe to it). Future Bones is a beautiful blend of indie, soul and modern pop, and through the lyrics, according to Doug Stewart, we are faced with the question “What do out future bones look like if our spirits are able to design our bodies?” It seems like a heavy question, but the answer is really open to interpretation. It gives each listener the chance to give a different meaning to the song. Does it relate to our afterlife and spirit, or is it more literal and goes along the lines of the physical decisions we will make as a result of our conscience and different thoughts?

Bells Atlas are getting to ready to play shows around Oakland and Los Angeles, and are also starting to demo songs for a new album, so be sure to keep an eye out for their EP Hyperlust, which is set to drop in May this year.