Brother-and-sister outfit Wild Belle broke out thanks to killer single “Keep You”, which got them signed to a major label for debut full-length, Isles. While nothing else on Isles is a pitch-perfect indie-reggae with a wonderful frontwoman as the single, there’s more to the duo than just “Keep You”.
Of course Isles starts with “Keep You”, and the number where singer Natalie Bergmann bemoans her inability to keep her (no-good) man is of course the high point on the record. But she & brother Elliot do some other good spins on reggae, such as the slyer “Backslider”, the more seductive “Happy Home”, and the blues-ier “Another Girl”. Another strong track is the closer, the sweeter “Take Me Away”, which had been the b-side to “Keep You”.
Not all of the numbers on Isles are standouts – standing out is hard to do in reggae, which so often veers towards the simple. The album kind of rises and falls on how effectively Natalie’s frontwoman personality is used (though the one Elliot-fronted song, “When It’s Over”, is a good change on a record that needed some change-ups). But if you loved “Keep You” – and who wouldn’t? – you’ll like Isles.