Honey in My Heart

by Violet Bell

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  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Honey in My Heart. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases October 11, 2019

      $11.11 USD  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Deluxe 12" version of Honey In My Heart, on VINYL! We put our hearts and ears into making sure this will sound amazing for you. Cover art painted by Jaimie Phillips, and photography by Kendall Bailey Atwater.

    Includes digital pre-order of Honey in My Heart. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases October 11, 2019
    item ships out within 7 days
    edition of 500 

      $28 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    With packaging made from recycled goods, gorgeous artwork by Jaimie Phillips and photos by Kendall Bailey Atwater.

    Includes digital pre-order of Honey in My Heart. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    digital album releases October 11, 2019
    item ships out within 7 days
    edition of 1000 

      $15 USD or more 

     

1.
Honey In My Heart
2.
3.
Summer Skin
4.
Swimming Towards Sharks
5.
Smoke In The Night
6.
Howl
7.
Ugly Part
8.
Let Me Forget
9.
Juliana
10.
Mountain Song
11.
Path You've Never Seen

about

“A very beautiful canvas of earthy, acoustic music, with some of the best arrangements I have heard on this show… Ross channels the spirit of Eva Cassidy, and Ruiz-Lopez's violin performance is chocolate... Absolutely gorgeous.” - Michael Jonathan, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour

Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez are floating in the Eno River, someplace between Durham and Hillsborough.

A fierce summer sun beats down. Minnows nudge them. They float, holding onto large rocks and letting the current point their feet downstream. Kids wade by, headed from the gentle waterfall to the inches-deep ford.

As two humans navigating life together, Ross and Ruiz-Lopez are present; the only moment is now and the only location is here. As a band, as North Carolina progressive folk duo Violet Bell, they are present; a recording is not expected to be the platonic ideal, the authoritative version of a song, but just one brief window of its lifetime. And that sense of letting go and leaning in, of accepting that spirit and heart count far more than the myth of the perfect take, is central to Violet Bell's debut LP, Honey in My Heart.

"When you're standing on the edge of fear and you have that deep desire to control… I think it is ego stuff, because the ego is the one that gets scared." Ross says, "If we let go and let it flow, we’ll come out of the studio with something that feels alive."

Accordingly, Honey in My Heart is vibrant, full of ebbing and flowing emotion; full of passion, fear, hope, angst, frustration, humor — all the messy emotions comprising the worthwhile chaos of the human experience. Stylistically, the songs take familiar Americana textures and bend them in surprising directions. The album draws from all over the spectrum, ranging from folky psychedelia to subtle jazz and experimental indie-pop. Honey in My Heart is what happens when two musicians at the top of their craft share the same sandbox.

To make these songs feel alive, Violet Bell rewrote its own norms and expectations. Honey in My Heart was recorded largely live. If there were mistakes in the best take, that didn't stop it from being the best take. "We didn't do scratch tracks," Ross says, “Once we got into the room together, it felt so good. The songs are just what came out.”

Ruiz-Lopez is quieter than Ross. He considers his words, then speaks in terms of ideals, of acoustic instruments, of teaching children to play music and of bringing things of beauty into the world. Indeed, each half of Violet Bell has dedicated their life to the pursuit of music: Ross as a songwriter who briefly tried her hand in Nashville before returning to more receptive soil in North Carolina; Ruiz-Lopez as a music educator and sideman who plays a staggering array of instruments (violin, viola, cello, guitar, mandolin, banjo). From his work with Kidznotes, a nonprofit that offers instrument lessons to underserved Durham schoolchildren, to his collaborations with Triangle-area musicians and membership in bands like Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys, Ruiz-Lopez was a busy musician for years before Violet Bell. "For a long time I had wanted to work with something I felt really aligned with," he says. "Lizzy came, and all of the sudden there's this depth while there is light."

Ross thinks melodically and lyrically, while Ruiz-Lopez thinks in tones, textures and colors. To him, an arrangement is a Rubik's Cube — a satisfying challenge that is solved by different changes, sections and timbres. As a multi-instrumentalist, Ruiz-Lopez has a broad sonic palette at his disposal. A consistent soundscape throughout a record is uninteresting to Ruiz-Lopez, as is undue obedience to genre. As simple as it sounds, his tools are rhythm, harmony and melody.

"We need things of beauty and not just products," he says. "If people open to the arts and creativity in general, we can make the world a better place and more colorful. The tribute is to beauty when you make song and raise a joyous noise."

credits

releases October 11, 2019

Band:
Lizzy Ross - vocals, acoustic guitar, shruti box
Omar Ruiz-Lopez - vocals, violin, cello, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin
Joe Macphail - piano, organ, wurlitzer, mellotron, background vocals
Dylan Turner - electric bass, background vocals
Austin McCall - percussion, drums

Additional Musicians:
Shana Tucker - backup vocals on “Elephant Heart”, “Summer Skin” and “Let Me Forget”
Rissi Palmer - backup vocals on “Elephant Heart”, “Summer Skin” and “Let Me Forget”
Carter Minor - harmonica on “Juliana” and “Smoke in the Night”
Daniel Chambo - alto sax on “Elephant Heart,” flute on “Mountain Song”

Violin parts performed on a 2014 David Swanson Violin
Cello was graciously loaned by David Swanson

Ugly Part, Summer Skin, Elephant Heart, Smoke in the Night, Let Me Forget, and Path You’ve Never Seen written by Lizzy Ross (ASCAP)

Honey in My Heart, Howl, Mountain Song, Juliana, and Swimming Towards Sharks written by Lizzy Ross & Omar Ruiz-Lopez

All lyrics by Lizzy Ross; Arrangements by Omar Ruiz-Lopez and Lizzy Ross. Publishing - Lickwag music (ASCAP)

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Violet Bell Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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