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BEL HEIR PRESENT: THE BAY SESSIONS A behind-the-scene look at our newest releases There is nothing quite like the feeling of finally reaching the ladder after years of tirelessly treading water, with nothing but your faith to keep you afloat. Sure, there were times when we’ve sunk to the bottom, but that same faith in our dreams and what we love has always revitalized our muscles and pulled us back up for air. However, none of us take into account how long that rickety and slippery ladder may be once we have it in our grasp, and what troubles may be waiting near the top. We’ve found that as the heights increase, new paths open, but the ladder narrows even more. The climb will take you into territories where not even faith can save you. But still, we move rung by rung. Nevertheless, after a recent fall, Bel Heir remained focused on that next step. At this point, there were uncertainties about the state of the band and decisions concerning the right way to start over yet again. There was talk about time off, relocating, and many other drastic possibilities. Subsequently, one of us suggested postponing the bold moves and taking a weekend off at the beach—one that we’d talked of taking for years. The ideas behind the weekend: find a place near the bay to stay, set up a small studio, and write and demo one song each day. Our hope was to create something exciting again, to rejuvenate our passions, while also getting some head-clearing time in the surf. We pulled up to the beach house late Thursday night, poured a few strong drinks and ignored the anxieties about whether or not the equipment would work the next morning. Rather than sleep on it, I decided to set up the inevitably tricky studio right then and there. Two hours later, we were able to get everything up and running, which assured everyone a restful night’s sleep. But I stayed up for a bit longer, testing my keyboard, brainstorming, when suddenly I heard that hypnotic, spinning first thirteen seconds of what would become “Throw Me in the River” in my head. By this time it was three in the morning, but I had to lay down those two overlapping, panning parts in the troubleshooting session for safekeeping. Afterwards, out of curiosity, I found the right sounds and dropped that verse beat right under it, creating this strange yet moving loop. When four in the morning struck, I called it a night—even though I was beyond anxious to play this new little idea to my band mates. 8 a.m. the following morning, we listened over coffee and Patrick said “let’s roll with this” before singing a heap of melodies over top. With the porch doors wide-open and the rain falling, we continued. The whole day was in our favor as we pushed through the writing of what would become “Throw Me in the River.” By 6 p.m., the lyric was written and the rest of the song was demoed. Patrick sang the vocal on a little microphone in the bathroom to catch that natural reverb. Upon listening to the final product, it was evident: we’d never written a song that left us feeling so exhilarated. But even more than that, this single spark relit the blaze. The next day, we worked on an idea that we’d been toying with for a while. Patrick had already been singing “I’ll never be the one to let you go, I’ll never be the one to let you go” over some different chords, so we took that melody, built off of it, and wrote what would become “Into Infinity.” My goal for the production on this track was to make the mood and form of the song in such a way that “Throw Me in the River” would flow seamlessly into it—causing the two songs to work as a complete thought. Both songs together create the concept behind the devastation of being without and then the ecstasy of being with. At the end of the second session, we went for drinks and once again talk of the future was flickered with promise, confidence and optimism. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into transforming the Bay Sessions (earning them the nickname “Hell Sessions”) into what you hear now. And on the night of August 6th, there was nothing more gratifying than laying in bed and listening to the final products of our labor. Since writing these songs, we have not only resurfaced from the bottom, but that ever-changing ladder is in our sights once again. We’ve discovered a renewed faith in what we love. As we soldier on, and follow our vow—to release two songs a month for the next year—we hope that you’ll join us in climbing higher.