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Bellows is an outlet for the melodic and wistful bedroom pop of songwriter/guitarist Oliver Kalb. A native of New York City, Kalb's pseudonym emerged as part of the Epoch, a Brooklyn arts collective that's included Eskimeaux (Gabrielle Smith), Told Slant (Felix Walworth), and Sharpless (Jack Greenleaf), among others. Members frequently collaborate both on the road and on recordings in support of each other's solo songwriting projects.
Titled As If to Say I Hate Daylight, Bellows' full-length debut was home-recorded with a single microphone and help from Eskimeaux, Told Slant, and Small Wonder (Henry Crawford) in the spring of 2011. It was self-released that August. He followed it with the EP New Clothing in late 2012. His second LP, Blue Breath, arrived in 2014 and featured all four of the aforementioned collaborators, plus Florist (Emily Sprague). All the while touring to support his own releases and those of his network of musician friends, he issued the eight-track EP May 5 to 12 Songs, which had been written and recorded in chronological order on those dates in 2015. That very week, NPR released Bellows' previously recorded Tiny Desk concert, with Bob Boilen noting that Blue Breath was among his Top 20 albums of the previous year.
Backed by Smith, Walworth, and Crawford, Bellows did a set for Audiotree Live in 2016, and that September, Double Double Whammy released his third long-player, Fist & Palm, an album about the breakdown of a friendship. After signing with Topshelf Records, he returned with The Rose Gardener in 2019. It featured a half-dozen collaborators, including Smith, who in the meantime had renamed her project Gabby's World. ~ Marcy Donelson
- New York City
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