Eat Sleep Records - 2004 - 37 minutes 

With so many runners in the acoustic singer-songwriter race, it's difficult for a band to break away from the pack but this debut from Kansas two-piece The Belles has enough character to make it stand out.

Singer/guitarist Christopher Tolle crafts sweet and mellow songs which are, most importantly, also memorable. Together with drummer/percussionist Jake Cardwell and a few guest musicians, he's put together an album of simple acoustic songs that will bring a breezy sense of summer to the darkest of days. 

There's a nod to the Beatles with opener 'So I, Sing', 'Never Said Anything' is a bona fide pop classic and Tolle's hushed and ever-so-slightly husky voice is used to good effect on the elegiac 'Omertá' and the Evan Dando-esque 'Estranged'. Watch The Belles go long distance.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: So I, Sing - (Who Will Be) Here To Hear? - Never Said Anything - Omertá - Victory Parade - Little Mexican - Estranged - His Undoing, Was His Undoing - Liquid Breakfast - These Things Will Kill Me - A Thousand Ships