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Live Review: Bella LaBeaux shares beautifully retro synth-pop jam, 'Don't Want'

25 September 2017 | 8:56 am | Max Lewis

Melbourne's Bella Labeaux fascinating track 'Don't Want' is a multi-layered feast of retro styling and modern production in a gorgeous synthpop package.

BELLA LABEAUX, aka Bella Unwin from Melbourne, has only been dabbling with music production for 12 months. Yet, despite this, her earlier single 'Into You' and her most recent cut 'Don't Want' display an innate knack for tight production with eccentric synth pop sounds, like New Order and Grimes had a beautiful child together.

LaBeaux has previously worked as a photographer in the music and fashion industries, reserving her bedroom production as hobby. Her debut single 'Into You' garnered attention from Triple J's Unearthed, and her sophomore single is sure to propel her further into the limelight.

'Don't Want' is delightfully retro in all the right places. Right off the bat a myriad of drum machine samples bombard the listener with syncopated rhythms, like a haunted Roland 707 blaring from a locked attic. LaBeaux's vocals are soft and subdued, switching between barely audible warbles to soaring notes, often joined with warped manipulations flowing in and out of the mix. It's one of those tracks you have to listen to ten times in a row just to pick out every element: a different synth sound seems to come in with every section, and different iconic drum machine sounds appear and disappear just as quickly. I have an unhealthy fetish for retro drum machines and 'Don't Want' is like Where's Wally for me, a perfect combination of the old with the new.

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Lyrically, LaBeaux has said the song isn't about a particular feeling, but rather, "just a collection of thoughts, that you or I could think to ourselves." In this sense, the music and lyrics work in perfect harmony, with the syncopated drums, layers of hypnotising synths and abstract production evoking the feeling of a rushing mind.

I can't really remember the last time a single from an unknown artist has gotten me so giddy, but 'Don't Want' has gone above and beyond. It's weird, groovy, retro, modern, and a lot of other positive words. Do yourself a favour and hit up Bella LaBeaux's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for future news and tracks - I know I'm going to!