Atmospheric dream-pop quartet Billie Gale is a musical monument to songwriter Beth Garber's late mother. Billie Gale—the woman—was a classic feminist, a combination of soft and strong, and the band that bears her name shares this intense duality. The band’s enveloping shoegaze textures blanket singer, and primary songwriter, Beth’s boldly vulnerable lyrical outcries. Today, the band announces its debut album, Imprint.
“Billie Gale is an entity with her own personality, and we all add to that as a band,” Beth shares.
The band explores beauty borne out of devastating loss. Beth’s songs are literate, introspective, viscerally expressive, and impressionistic, often evoking the rainy-day environs of her native Pacific Northwest. Beth favors clever use of language, intriguing rhyme schemes, and honesty in her writing. She’s influenced by a broad array of artists and writers, including Joni Mitchell, Flannery O’Connor, David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), Aesop Rock, and Death Cab for Cutie, among others.
Billie Gale songs are soaked in warm reverb, textured with layers of jeweled counter melodies, and they’re arranged with peaks and valleys dynamics to release pent-up emotions. The band features the sparkling guitarwork and dimensional textures of Adam Wayne; the durable and counter melodic basslines of Eric Shawn; and the expressively intuitive percussion and drums of Justin Wayne. The group is currently based in Oakland, California, and has performed at venues across the Bay Area and Portland, including the Doug Fir and Rickshaw Stop.
The band’s debut album, Imprint, documents the mourning and healing processes Beth underwent after her mother’s sudden death in 2013—even the title is packed with elegiac overtones. Here, Beth is referencing the phenomenon in nature when baby birds imprint the site of their mother, and that visual penetration begins the nature of their connection. “Even though my mother has passed away, her characteristics are imprinted on me, and come up even though she’s not there. It goes back to that cliché that we all become like our parents. But, for me, this is a great gift because I can connect with her even after she’s passed on,” Beth shares.
Select album standouts include “You Should Be Here,” “Where Are You Now,” and the closing track “Send.” The track “You Should Be Here” is a slow-burn anthem, bursting with dreamy vocals, chiming new-wave guitars, and soft-to-explosive dynamics. The song was written just weeks after Beth’s mother’s passing and its uproarious emotionality captures the leveling of such a loss. “Where Are You Now” is a song of acceptance and features ethereally beautiful contributions from the band, delicately framing Beth’s snapshot of her season of sadness. The album closes with soaring emotionality on “Send.” Slicing through the song are delay-treated guitar melodies delicately supported by a nimble rhythm section which impactfully alternates between sublime shoegaze and gritty indie-rock.
Genre: dream pop
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Influences: David Bazan,
Sounds like: Wye Oak,
Slowdive, Daughter, Laura Marling
moods // themes
introspective atmospheric bittersweet narrative rainy day cathartic earnest melodic intense gritty literary exact