Of course, that's no discredit to the other players who make up Wild Belle in a live setting. Elliot's sparse, sultry application of saxophone and keyboard stabs lends the band its essential world-music flavor. And while the Bergmans write the band's songs and are generally regarded as a duo, they're supplemented onstage by a drummer, a rhythm guitarist, and occasional backing vocalists.
Wild Belle had its national coming-out party last spring at SXSW, with a set that appeared on numerous best-of-the-fest lists. The group has since had a whirlwind year that's included major media attention, a headlining tour, a string of dates opening for the indie-pop trio Tennis, and a record deal with Sony. Their debut album, Isles, is due next month. After all the buzz, Isles might seem to be at risk of not living up to its hype. But that concern is countered by the three singles already released, which display the same seductive, hooky, slow-jam magic that's drawn so much attention ever since the band's unassuming debut at the Pig.
Wild Belle returns to the Blind Pig on February 19.
[Originally published in February, 2013.]