Black Stone

The Belle Sounds have one helluva sound. It’s a vintage Rumours-esque harmonic lushness over precise, Shins-like shiny grooves. Black Stone, a five-song EP and the second release from the Austin- based band, kicks off with a pulsating, instantly captivating energy that serves as a love song of sorts from frontwoman Noelle Hampton to Mt. Tamalpais, the childhood stomping grounds of the native California Girl’s youth. “The Siren,” inspired by Hampton’s love of Ray Bradbury’s prescient 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451, is a soothing reflection on the hyper-ventilated, technologically possible talk-about that dominates today’s collective discourse and over-sharing. And in the winsome “Ghost of Mykonos,” she turns an unsettling Nancy Grace headline about a tragic honeymoon into a lovely ode to romantic mystery and star-crossed secrets. The Belle Sounds’ penchant for upbeat, pop-sensible songs over the darkest of subject matters is also displayed on “Golden Boy,” a song inspired by fictional serial killer Dexter Morgan that features Andre Moran’s eyebrow-arching guitar riffs augmented with a “truth is out there” synthesizer that gives the track a love-is-kinda-crazy spookiness. — D.C. BLooM