Based in Melbourne, Australia, alternative artist Bel Kil knows the hurtful feeling of being disappointed or, in other words, being the “Backup Plan” of someone.
Bel Kil, also known as Annabel Kilpatrick, is a multi-instrumentalist artist who constantly explores and learns the sounds of diverse genres to create music that could accompany you in every moment. Her chilling and dynamic sounds are something you could whistle all day long and relieve the heaviness of daily life.
“Backup Plan” is the result of a disappointing experience that Bel Kil had when she was going to meet someone who was really important to her but called off and let her down. Then she channeled the pain and turned it into lyrics as she went home. The result is an upbeat, dreamy song that sounds like hope and good vibes.
When hitting the play button, you sense that “Backup Plan” has an instrumental combination that makes an intense summer ambiance, focusing on melodic and slow guitar chords and a waving bass. The slow beats make you feel like you are floating as you listen to the soft Bel Kil’s vocals leading you into an almost psychedelic trance.
You could describe the experience of listening to “Backup Plan” as cinematic, and it has a nostalgic touch that brings you the feeling of memories you never had. However, it is easy to relate to her lyrics. Bel Kil’s work is accurate and as relaxing as climatic, and we hope to see more of it in the future.
Listen to “Backup Plan,” a song that can make your mind travel to the beach, almost like hearing the wind and waves behind it.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Bel Kil, and congratulations on your latest release, “Backup Plan.” How much did making "Backup Plan" allow you to diversify your music?
It was nice to take a step away from producing more electronic songs in Ableton and go back to how I used to write with a guitar before I knew how to produce. I was much more focused on guitar and bass tones with this track than in the past. While 'Escaping' allowed me the freedom to turn an electronic acoustic song, 'Backup Plan' gave me the room to hone my recording and production skills and explore more outside of the electronic world.
How do you manage to create such a joyful ambiance from a painful experience?
This is a lighthearted song about how we look forward to little things and build them up, only to feel let down when a friend bails at the last minute, opting for a better plan. I guess it's about finding the mindset to turn the situation around in that moment of deflation and not let yourself wallow in disappointment. It's raw, heartful, contemplative, uplifting, and anthemic. I wanted the production to reflect this. It's about feeling like you're the backup plan but finding the mindset to turn the situation around and create your own backup plan.
How would you describe the making process of "Backup Plan?"
The song came about when I was walking home from the studio on a balmy Friday afternoon, excited to have a beer with a friend, only to receive a text saying he couldn't make it. I thought, 'bugger you and before I knew it had sung most of Backup Plan into my voice memos by the time I got home. I was much more focused on guitar and bass tones with this track than in the past. It was nice to take a step away from producing more electronic songs in Ableton and go back to how I used to write with a guitar before I knew how to produce. I wanted to capture a slower, contemplative, dreamy, and slightly psychedelic feel. I started with the guitar chords and built the production around there, using midi drums initially and my guitar as the bass. I added virtual strings, synths, and layers of vocals. I played around with panning and effects. I worked backward, producing the whole track in the box, and then overdubbed my friends Tristan Courtney on bass guitar and John Vassallo on drums to achieve more of a 'live feeling'.
What was your greatest challenge when making "Backup Plan?"
Hmmm, probably mixing the outro… There are layers upon layers of virtual and recorded instrumentation, vocals, and effects, and allowing each element to have its own space and cut through the mix was a little challenging. It's straightforward to mix for too long and think it sounds good until you bounce it out, go for a walk, and realize you've gone down a rabbit hole. I can't tell you how many incremental saves I did, sometimes only to go back to an earlier version… In a way, the outro feels climactic and chaotic, but it's intentionally ordered chaos, the way my head felt as I reasoned with myself and didn't let the disappointment get me down. I wanted it to feel like a journey. The song starts out reflective, but by the time we reach the peak, there's this epic hopefulness.
What's next for you?
My Debut EP, 'My Year', is out on the 10th of November, followed by the Launch at The Toff In Town on Friday the 9th of December, live with my band. I finally put my heart and soul into writing, recording, and mixing this EP throughout lockdown, and I'm so excited to release it. The EP blends electronic production with acoustic instruments and has been described as emotive, uplifting, unique, and distinctive. These songs are incisive perceptions of life, love, and dreams laid bare on a backdrop of cinematic, rousing, spirited beats. The EP strikes a balance between youthful nostalgia and hope for the future, making My Year the perfect soundtrack for summer.