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– 9 May 2022
A heavenly vocal. A sensuous saxophone. A majestic piano’s gentle harmony, forged beside a Latin-flavored guitar. When you take these three elements and put them under the direction of a singer/songwriter like Beatrice Betley, magic is bound to happen, and that’s precisely the case with her new single, “Lullaby.” In “Lullaby,” the newcomer to the indie spotlight puts her vocal abilities at the forefront of the music, striking a rhythm with little more than a pensive drumbeat and the cadence of her verses inside of a four-minute gem (while sounding much more like a veteran than a rookie, in my opinion).
Her voice is always at the center of the master mix, serving as a sonic linchpin binding all of the different instrumental components together in a singular melodic wave, yet she doesn’t overpower her backing band at all. Here, Betley proves that she has the chops to balance melodic complexities with heartfelt lyricism, tipping her hat to the forerunners of the vocal pop genre whilst carving her own identity for listeners to enjoy at the same time.
“Lullaby” is poetically spellbinding, but I wouldn’t say that the words Betley sings to us in this track are the only agent of evocation present. On the contrary, there’s a lot of emotional substance to the relationship between the instruments, particularly when our leading lady steps back to let their jazz-influenced virtuosities take center stage. The strings and the saxophone get into an all-out duel for our affections just past the two-minute mark in the song, and considering the depth that their harmony adds to the lyrics, I don’t think this single would be nearly as engaging were they replaced with simpler instrumental elements.
I can definitely see “Lullaby” being a showstopper in a live setting, where Betley could really flex some muscle behind the microphone (and perhaps stir up even more of the potent chemistry already found in spades here). She’s got an incredible range, and when matched with her ability to fit into an elaborate arrangement like the one found in this song, it makes her quite the rare treasure this spring indeed.
Though I’m just now getting into the music of Beatrice Betley, I’m ready for more of her melodic charms after finding myself utterly swept away by her craftsmanship in “Lullaby.” There are a lot of credible singers coming out of the indie jazz community at the moment, but I personally haven’t heard many boasting the elegant demeanor that this vocalist is from beginning to end here. Her prowess in the studio is something to be praised, and as long as she can continue to produce music with the same amount of passion that she has in her first couple of singles, I think she’s going to have a long career ahead of her.
This is definitely one heck of an introduction to the audience, and with a little more time to develop her sound, it’s hard to see the momentum she’s enjoying right now slowing anytime soon.
Bethany Page – Vents Magazine
“Just a lullaby for humanity / Please forgive us all, we were too blind to see” sings a heartfelt Beatrice Betley in the first couple of verses we hear in her new song, “Lullaby,” out everywhere this coming Earth Day (the 50th since the holiday’s creation). Boldly melodic and as colorful as any beat in the music is, Betley’s vocal is the star of this jazz-laden pop performance, but it isn’t accompanied by lackluster instrumentation at all. “Lullaby” is a stunning showcase of talents for this sensational up and coming songwriter, and for it coming from a relative rookie, it couldn’t be much more polished an effort.
There are a lot of layers to the mix in this single, but there’s nothing in the instrumental construction that feels overcomplicated from a critical perspective. Instead of favoring a simplistic, minimalist-inspired concept (as many of her contemporaries have been in recent times), Beatrice Betley chases a larger than life melodicism in “Lullaby” that isn’t easy to capture within the four walls of a recording studio. Her adept management of this multidimensional composition speaks volumes about her skill, and perhaps more important than that, the organic talent she brings to the game with her.
The saxophone parts in this track are a wonderful accentuation to the vocal and guitar component (especially the latter), and despite the prominent place in the arrangement, they never steal any of the thunder away from the other elements here. It’s difficult to pull together the dynamics being presented to us in “Lullaby” without coming off as more than a little experimental – particularly compared to 2020’s mainstream output thus far – but that’s where Betley’s jazz training comes in handy. She isn’t intimidated by mathy structures; if anything, she embraces them with open arms in a song like this one.
Betley’s vocal doesn’t have much polish on it in this mix, but frankly, I don’t think it needed any embellishment to sound as strong as any of the instrumentation in the track is. Her demeanor here is unguarded, her execution as precise as we could ask for it to be, and even when she’s hesitant in her delivery, her action is beneficial to the melodicism she’s wielding so brilliantly. There’s emotion for us to consider in almost every angle of “Lullaby,” and whether you take the song for its surface narrative or choose to dig deeper into its meaning, it’s a powerful listen at any rate.
If you love captivating jazz singers with an ear for pop harmonies when it counts the most, Beatrice Betley is an artist you need to be listening to this April. Earth Day has become all too politicized by many of music’s most trusted names, but in “Lullaby,” it finds a soundtrack worthy of the integrity behind its creation. 2020 is turning out to be a fantastic year for independent players, and for those of us who can’t get enough of a good set of pipes, this is one of the season’s most spirited singer/songwriters so far.
Loren Sperry – Musicsistence
Beatrice Betley is an artist that truly creates a vision of her own. Releasing today her new single and video for “Lullaby,” she brings a delightful first listen for many as she takes us on a magical, musical ride. Based in The Netherlands, Beatrice brings the song out just in time for Earth Day 2020; also the 50th Anniversary of the event. The song brings her bold and gorgeously crafted vocals to life, that is filled to the brim with piano and saxophone sounds that will keep you on your toes.
Beatrice shares of the new release:
“For me, music has always been the portal to the soul,” said Beatrice. “And if my music can bring joy, hope or comfort to just one person in these challenging times… I am happy!”
Chloe Rabinowitz – Broadwayworld
Beatrice Betley’s second official single, “Lullaby,” starts off simply enough with a velvety vocal as pristine as it is entrancing, but don’t be fooled by its soft intro. In a little less than four minutes’ time, Betley’s voice will be joined by a symphony of textured melodies courtesy of guitar, piano, and sax parts that could move a mountain all by themselves. Even without the assistance of any synthetic components at all whatsoever, the monolithic nature of the music in this track is supremely potent, easy to get lost in, and above all else, quite expressive. “Lullaby” is a jazz ballad composed in honor of the 50th Earth Day, but more than that, it’s a surreal way of getting to know a deeply gifted singer on the verge of mainstream success.
As we get deeper into the song, it becomes clear that Betley didn’t compose this track strictly for the purposes of highlighting her amazing vocal abilities. What starts out as a cut and dry piano harmony quickly evolves into something much grander in shape and style – from the lush melody of the sax to the cutting commentary of the guitar, we’re enveloped in sonic warmth before we even realize what’s transpiring here. The mix is progressively designed as to push us towards the edge of our seats the further down this path we go, and by the time we reach the instrumental juncture in “Lullaby,” there’s no escaping the glow of the band’s connective play.
I would have liked just a touch more presence from the bass in this track than we were ultimately given in the final mix of the song, but at the same time, I can appreciate the lean, mean look Betley was trying to achieve here. There’s certainly no shortage of bassline indulgence in both crossover jazz and straight vocal pop these days, and perhaps by steering clear of that sort of excess, “Lullaby” distinguishes itself all the more as an indie product. Nothing in this track sounds even remotely mechanical or manufactured for the purposes of radio play exclusively; instead, it’s clear from the get-go just how invested Beatrice Betley is in this subject matter. Her love of the earth is surpassed only by her passion for this medium, and that’s more than obvious when listening to this single.
She’s got a long road ahead of her, but with the talents she shows off here, I think Beatrice Betley is going to find stardom at some point in the near future. “Lullaby” is an affectionate take on vocal jazz/pop that doesn’t appeal to aficionados of the genre alone. A hybridity devoid of the sonic trappings that have essentially become standard among plasticized major label acts in the last half-decade, this song is a meaningful ballad, and not a sample of modern experimental indulgence. Now is a particularly good time to be a fan of independent music, and thanks to the hard work of artists like Beatrice Betley, I think the soundtrack of the 2020s could be even more exciting than that of the preceding decade by leaps and bounds.
Clay Burton – IMAAI
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