WILD BELLE BRINGS ITS ECLECTIC ACT — AND NEW ALBUM — TO SOhO ON MONDAY NIGHT, utilzing their unique bond as a brother-sister duo
When: 8 p.m., Monday
Where: SOhO (1221 State St., Santa Barbara, 93101)
Information: 21-and-over show; www.sohosb.com; 962-7776
We’ve all seen family complete sentences for one another, it comes with the territory.
But in the case of Elliot and Natalie Bergman, they’ve taken it to a new level.
“We don’t even really need to speak to each other in order for us to understand each other,” Natalie said.
“We prefer not to,” Elliot quipped.
The brother-sister duo makes up Wild Belle, an eclectic group that mixes rocksteady, reggae, hip-hop and myriad other influences. With their third studio album having dropped in late March, the siblings are setting out on tour in support of it, including Monday night at SOhO for a 21-and-up show.
Natalie says that “Everybody One Of A Kind” is an album with less outside influence and more reflective of the bond between she and Elliot.
“It feels we honed in on our sound on this one,” Natalie told the News-Press while she and Elliot enjoyed some champagne and a cake with a “rad” vinyl topper to celebrate the album release.
“Naturally, we evolve as musicians as we keep working on our art. We’ve expanded some of the sounds and it’s a bit more experimental. This is the most organic album we’ve made”
And it helps that they can be brutally honest with one another when it comes to making music.
“We have no filter whatsoever, it makes it uncomfortable for those in close proximity to us,” Elliot joked.
Being true to themselves is important for both Bergmans, as Natalie and Elliot are both artists in their own right, having distinct interests outside of playing music.
Natalie animated the band’s last music video on her own, using her life-long love of collage as inspiration to make a stop animation that is both intriguing and mind-twisting.
“I call them my 16 freaks, they are very disassembled,” Natalie said. “Our album is called ‘Everybody One Of A Kind’ and I wanted to tie the album art with the video work. I wanted to cut people up and make them dance together.”
Elliot has been working on his side passion for years, taking old weapons and melting them down into peace bells and sculptures, with the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles recently installing his art work.
“The idea is an old one, taking things that have been used for violence and turning them into instruments of peace,” Elliot said.
While their artistic pursuits provide a relief from the wear-and-tear of making an album, make no mistake about it, Wild Belle is “the most loved, most unknown band on the face of the earth,” according to Elliot.
With appearances on Conan in 2012, as well as songs in movies, “Pitch Perfect” and “The Way, Way Back,” and a slew of songs on television’s “The Vampire Diaries” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” their music is known to many, even if they don’t know it quite yet.
An upcoming tour with Beck, Spoon and Cage the Elephant should help that, introducing Wild Belle’s sound to new audiences, even if they are “playing at 2 p.m.,” as Elliot joked.
No matter the time of day they are playing or the size of the audience, Natalie says they take pride in the gift that they’ve been given.
“If I had a choice, I probably wouldn’t choose this career,” Natalie said. “It’s been a serious rollercoaster, but music was given to us and that’s the gift. We need to be responsible and we need to nurse our gift, cultivate it and share it with the world.”
Elliot knew early on that his sister had an affinity for the music industry, as she would join him while he worked at a record store — at the age of 10.
“She was a crate-digging disciple,” Elliot said. “She was the different kid listening to Coltrane and Miles Davis in her bedroom, but she got super into rocksteady and reggae at a young age.”
With those influences still very much a part of their musical acumen, the Bergman duo is excited to get back out on the road to learn more about themselves, and to reconnect with fans.
“We haven’t been crammed in a van in a few years,” Natalie said. “We are excited to get back out there and share.”