Release Date: Jan 29, 2008
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
David Heumann and Nathan Bell's instrumental project Human Bell unites their strengths and styles -- fans of Heumann's Arbouretum and Bell's group Lungfish will hear shades of both acts here, though the album's atmosphere relies more on the softer sounds and relaxed tempos of Heumann's free-form compositions. Bell's contribution to the disc comes in the form of the more structured, linear riffs that provide a center for each of the works. While none of Human Bell's individual songs have obvious destinations, they seem to blend into one full composition.
Human Bell, as a name, is made up of its two principals’ surnames: Arboretum frontman Dave Heumann and Lungfish bass player Nathan Bell. And yet it’s also curiously apt in describing the music: a wordless interplay of two guitars that’s as clear and luminous as a bell, but also deeply, spiritually human. Human Bell is quite different from Heumann’s work in Arbouretum, on the surface because it eliminates vocals, but more intrinsically because it hails from earlier, folk blues antecedents.