This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the release party for Bel Cobain’s upcoming EP, ‘Radical Forgiveness’.
Bel Cobain has been steadily cementing herself as one of the UK’s most captivating artists. Her sound combines soulful instrumentation, and lyrics brimming with depth and personal experience. Her catalogue thus far consists of a string of successful singles, with this event allowing fans to celebrate the arrival of her upcoming debut project.
Hackney-based record shop, The BBE Store (@the_bbe_store), were the hosts for this intimate set. As the time for Bel’s arrival neared, the room quickly filled, until necks craned outside to catch a glimpse of the stage. Bel appeared to collective elation from the crowd. Her happiness at the reception was evident, and after taking in the appreciation and welcoming us all, she dived into the first track.
A live band accompanied her soothing vocals, and from the first song the room listened intently. Between each track, Bel gave us her thoughts on her music and life in equal measure. Suddenly, the depth with which emotions are captured in her music made complete sense. She showed her deep capacity for thought and understanding, indicative of an artist capable of powerful self-reflection. As Bel sang her newest single, ‘Pressure To Exist’, it became evident it had been received positively by her fans since its release. The room seemed to be filled with excitement over the upcoming EP the song will feature in.
Fan favourite ‘Introverted Stoner’ followed, naturally met with huge jubilation from the audience. As we all sang along, I felt transported back to hearing the song for the first time back in 2019. The nostalgia was out in full force. Bel proved herself as one of those rare artists whose voice loses none of its quality when in a live setting. A personal favourite of mine, ‘Leader’, was performed beautifully. Bel’s impassioned delivery left a tremendous impression on the audience, with the live band adding greatly to the emotion of the song.
During the evening, Bel was described to me as an ‘artists favourite artist’, which seemed a very apt description. This was evident in the variety of musicians who were at the event in support. There is clearly a great reverence amongst those who also create music, for an artist who can deliver their catalogue with such quality and charisma.
Another one of Bel’s biggest hits, ‘Emocean’, washed over the crowd with a flourish. This was incredibly popular with many of her core supporters in attendance. It is testament to the young artists’ talent that she has created such a fanbase, without having dropped a debut project. This is something very few artists can achieve. The show indicated the future of Bel’s musical journey to be very positive indeed.
The short-but-sweet set ended with a bittersweet feeling, as all in attendance would happily have stayed and listened to her all night. The evening continued with a fantastic DJ set from Hak Baker and Will Bill, whilst Bel interacted graciously with those who came to see her.
Overall, the feeling of the night was one of awe and hope. The awe was of Bel’s immense ability, and her wonderful creations that were delivered so delightfully. The hope was due to the support present for an artist creating music that was so full of personal truth and insightful observation.
Bel’s upcoming EP ‘Radical Forgiveness’ is due to be a gem of a debut project, from someone who’s path ahead is illuminated by the talent evident in her work up to this point. If the opportunity arises to see Bel Cobain performing live, make sure not to deprive yourself of what will undoubtedly be an extraordinary night.