Reviews

Jake Bellows: "What's the Point?" | Sessions

Author: Chance Solem-Pfeifer
01/27/2014 | Hear Nebraska | hearnebraska.org | Feature
Expressing yourself, confessional songwriting and art reflecting self. Jake Bellows has a two-word retort: “Who cares?”

The longtime Omaha songwriter and former frontman of the now-defunct band Neva Dinova contradicts an entire dictionary of the romantic songwriting terminology with his first solo album New Ocean. Released on Saddle Creek in August 2013, the album postulates using music and art as tools for projecting a healthier, brighter future for humankind and the world, as opposed to a force that propagates one person’s human experience.

While the conclusion may seem obvious to Bellows, he knows the execution of such songwriting is uncommon.

“I think every artist thinks that, too,” he says. “They just haven’t considered what their art is for.”

When Bellows returned to Nebraska in mid-January for a pair of solo performances, he reflected on the broader themes of New Ocean, a record for which his primary influences weren’t musical contemporaries of Neva Dinova but rather diverse thinkers like Nikola Tesla, Joseph Campbell and Hazrat Inayat Khan. For inspiration, Bellows (who now resides in California) dove into theories and principles of frequency that give the sleepy pop album its elemental feeling — that the soundwaves we’re processing are, at various frequency levels, the building blocks of the universe.

For this, the ninth installment of Sessions, I sat down with Bellows at the Aromas coffee shop in Benson to discuss visions of a humane apocalypse, the value of artistic voices in society and a moment Bellows could have sworn he was dying.


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