Behind the EP: Medicine by Bel

How Bel overcame her biggest fears while crafting her intimate indie rock debut EP.

Bel is the project of Philadelphia singer-songwriter Isabel Furman.

Her debut EP Medicine showcases her intimate, lo-fi guitar pop, heavily influenced by the rock and folk of Lucy Dacus, Joni Mitchell, Haley Heynderickx, Snail Mail, and more. This is the story of how she wrote it.

I never thought my songs would leave my bedroom.

I take comfort in bedrooms; most of my songs deal with dynamics of intimacy, so I use these rooms as access points for that vulnerability.

Bel, by Julia Leiby

I wrote my first song as a tween, huddled in my twin bed, pen in teeth, one early Saturday morning. That’s how I’ve written most songs since.

My bedrooms have changed shape and space over the years, from bigger beds to dorm rooms to my first apartment in Philadelphia. But they remain sacred places of creativity for me, where I feel like my real artist and human self is housed. 

My first EP, Medicine, was released in January 2020. It too is an ode to bedrooms. I recorded it as a senior in college on the floor of a close friend’s dorm, sitting amongst his sneakers with my back against the mattress.

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Behind the Song: ‘Marley’ by Gouda

A tune about anxiety, depression, and a very special feline friend…

Joey Heins is a music industry student from Philadelphia and solo artist under the name ‘gouda’. His debut single “Marley’ is the story of his friendship with his cat of the same name.

Marley is my cat. My only friend. The only living being that I don’t get any form of anxiousness being around; well, at least anymore.

When I first got Marley, she hid from me and didn’t eat any food, as cats do.

The cat in question.

Going through a breakup and being the anxious person I am, I went crazy, thinking I would end up hurting this beautiful living being that had blessed me with its presence.

This went on for three seemingly-endless days. 

That’s where the song’s instrumental came from. I tend to do that- take control of an anxious moment through writing.

Creating and combining sounds, phrases, and tones allows me to see the moment through a different lens. It feels like another world.

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Playlist Time: Sweet Touch 💞

A poppy mix dedicated to the little touches we often take for granted…

When I think about connection, it’s all about the mind, body and spirit.

During the pandemic, I have been reminded of the many small things I once took for granted.

Because what was once a typical “Miami greeting” (a simple kiss on the cheek) is now a potentially life-threatening gesture. And it’s not even okay to hug family members you haven’t seen in a long time anymore

Hugs and cuddles relieve stress and nurture feelings of safety, trust and bonding by release of “happy” hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. These make us crave them like we would our favorite ice cream.

But now, all forms of physical intimacy between people suddenly carry more risks than ever before.

In honor of the era of social distancing, here’s a list of songs that capture one of life’s simplest pleasures: touch

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