Skip to content

Elle Belle With Soft Swells And Lucius At The Satellite, Monday November 23rd 2015

IMG_4007 copy

Elle Belle


On Mondays, Los Angelinos have the choice between many free residencies and it’s always a difficult choice at the top of the fact that it is, well, a Monday night… But let’s forget about Tuesday morning for once, I opted for Elle Belle’s residency at the Satellite, which started with Soft Swells, a duo playing luminous ballads going from melancholic to upbeat but always executed with the same fragile delivery. With a delicate guitar pop sometimes tainted of Americana with the use of a lap steel guitar, they had a pretty and uplifting sound, with distinct vocals and a slow diction, opening quiet soundscapes with echoes of Fleet Foxes, minus the vocal harmonies. Since Elle Belle’s Christopher Pappas is the bassist of the band, he came on stage to join them on vocals for what seemed to be their loudest song. While their moniker evokes ‘tiny, easy to ride waves that beginners keep an eye out for to build their aquatic confidence up’, they sent a few of these tiny waves and you could almost smell the ocean breeze.

Lucius was the surprise guest at this Monday residency, and what a surprise there were! A five-piece band from Brooklyn, which has recently moved to Los Angeles, fronted by two women making the most delicious vocal harmonies propelled by an explosive pop sound and uplifted by a lot of drums.

The Guardian featured them as its New Band Of The Day early 2014 and described them as “the missing link between Arcade Fire and Haim’, and if I could hear some of the sonic connection with these two famous bands, it would be unfair to Lucius’ sound… Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig were first standing behind two synths surrounded by their musicians and looking like twins with impressive matching stylish clothes and modern haircuts, then they gathered around an old fashioned mic giving a more intimate dimension to their expansive sound. There was also something so retro about their beautiful and lush harmonies, singing along catchy pop songs and a Phil Spector side managing to catch a more contemporary new-wavy vibe.

But don’t be fooled by these two women, if the idea of girlie vocal harmonies may sound soft and sweet, there also was a lot of bold attitude in all this, plus fierce beats produced by abundant claps and drumming. They gave us a superb and jubilant rendition of We Five’s ‘You Were on My Mind’, with perfect harmonies sounding like a more electrified version of First Aid Kit, and to go back to the Guardian’s analogy, Lucius looked like the missing link between the past and the future…

The band had style and punch, the guitars were in the back but still very present, and the whole set was jumping at everyone’s happy face, with great enthusiasm, symmetric aesthetic and a barrage of drums. The audience loved them and Lucius attracted the biggest crowd of the night. After an album ‘Wildewoman’ released on Mom + Pop two years ago, which does not capture the joyousness and the formidable energy of the band live, I guess they are about to release new material, as they played a few songs that they introduced as new.

Lucius came back on stage for two songs during the set of Elle Belle, which had to be a somewhat confusing moniker because Elle (she) Belle (beautiful) was actually a band of men, fronted by the charismatic songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Christopher Pappas. I should say that if they are a five-piece band live with Pappas on vocals and guitar, Anthony Polcino on guitar, Emeen Zarookian on synth / guitar, Casey Curry on bass, and Rob Humphreys on drums, Elle Belle is truly Pappas’ solo project, a new moniker to escape the frustrations of his previous band, Miracle Parade, and if I can’t really pinpoint his style based on the songs they played, the energy in display was as impressive as the diversity of their pop-rock-funk-fuzz style… Can I call it psy-pop swag? Because he had plenty of it…

Appearing in full Elle character with black make-up around the eyes which made him look like the masked avenger, Pappas had a wild energy, and a physical way to approach his music combined with a very laid back attitude, he was dancing around the mic, jumping in the crowd or on someone’s shoulders, lying on the floor along with his guitar.

Their first song ‘You Better Mean it’ had something of early Beck’s laid back and ferocious guitars, think Devil’s haircut era, while other songs were floating between 80’s rock and a synth-infused soul well served when the Lucius girls came on stage for the backup vocals… it was particularly true for the powerful, atmospheric, drum-bass driven ‘Rain in London’. But you could certainly hear a lot of diversity in his non-genre-attached music, that can barely be heard anywhere online… as the synth was bringing the 80’s in mind with shades of INXS or even Bowie.

He introduced a song as ‘a song about doing cocaine’ which was very appropriate considering he immediately admitted to have missed last Monday residency due to some legal trouble at a check point in Texas,.. He then affirmed his pride to have joined the happy club of Willie Nelson, Fiona Apple, and Snoop Dogg… The carefree sound of the song that followed had an almost Mac DeMarco poppy tone, while ‘Trouble Tongue’ brought a Smiths vibe.. at least this is what I got at the moment. ‘San Francisco’ with its western-y arrangements had a big catchy chorus and the last song ‘Failed Dreamz’ was like watching a big rock show, looking part familiar and part surprising. Elle Belle’s upcoming release ‘Baptistina I & II ‘ will feature no less than 23 songs, with a lo-fi 60’s esthetic, a party feeling and, I am sure, plenty of bravado.

More pictures here

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top