Back in the US, Charlie Belle, armed with songs written by 16-year-old vocalist and guitarist Jendayi Bonds, is making an impact among those seeking out tunes that can stand the test of time, but are also fun to sing along to.
The five tracks on “Get To Know” bring to mind the English “alternapop” sound of 90’s – bands such as The Sundays, Belly, and The Lemonheads (more popular in the UK than its native Boston, after all) to name a few. Charlie Belle – named for the Bonds siblings’ great-grandmother – further sites Esperanza Spalding, The Strokes, and Arctic Monkeys as more contemporary influences.
At 16-years-old, Jendayi is the elder in Charlie Belle. After picking up the guitar at seven-years-old, she quickly began writing her own songs, and at the age of ten, formed Charlie Belle with her brother Gyasi (who was only four when he began drum lessons.)
In 2011, the then-duo covered “Strange Powers” (dang, these kids are cool!) for a series of videos related to the promotion of the documentary of the same name about The Magnetic Fields. Shot in Gyasi’s bedroom when he was just eight-years-old, the clip later landed them in USA Today. Soon after, Jendayi was interviewed by Amy Poehler as part of the comedienne’s “Smart Girls” web series.
Now, as Charlie Belle begins down the road towards increased recognition with the national release of “Get To Know,” the band is continuing to get noticed at home. Just this past fall, the Austin Chronicle named Jendayi the “Best ‘It’ Girl” in the paper’s annual “Best of Austin” issue, summing up their coverage with a simple statement: “Yup, she rocks.”
See Charlie Belle in Austin this spring at South By Southwest, and look out for a series of cover song videos featuring the band doing some of their favorite songs by Dr. Dog, Beyoncé, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Young The Giant, and more!
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