Belle Haven
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Image: Oversimplified Complications

Belle Haven are in a hurry. After being absent since 2021’s well-received EP Time Changes Nothing, the alternative rockers have come flying out of the traps today with their first single of the year.

Yet for all of their burning desire to make up for lost time and make 2023 a big one, their new song is about a lack of progress – when a relationship breaks down and you just don’t have the words to describe its dissolution.

‘I Can’t Find the Words’ frenetically captures the emotional turmoil at the heart of the collapse of a relationship. Regret, shame, self-reflection, forgiveness; we’ve all dealt with these conflicting feelings before.

Their first single in a long while also sees the Melbourne trio – David De La Hoz, Tom Mitchell and Daniel Marinakis – embracing being an emo band, which earnestly comes across in the mixture of yearning vocals and preppier anthemic rhythm.

If you want to hear Belle Haven’s comeback song up close, you can catch them supporting Banks Arcade on their Australian tour, beginning in Brisbane on Saturday, February 4th (tickets here). They’ll also be supporting Red Hook later in the year.

In the meantime, you can read Tone Deaf‘s chat with De La Hoz about ‘I Can’t Find the Words’ below.

Belle Haven’s ‘I Can’t Find the Words’ is out now.

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Tone Deaf: ‘I Can’t Find the Words’ comes nearly two years after the release of your last EP, Time Changes Nothing. How does it feel to be back? 

David De La Hoz: It feels really great. I don’t know how else to put it. It’s very clearly bringing us a lot of joy to be writing music together again. I am certainly the happiest I’ve ever been and Belle Haven is a big part of that.

How does this new single differ from your last release? 

I think more than ever we’ve really embraced being an emo band, and will continue to do so. CV (Christopher Vernon – producer and studio guitarist) posted the single art on his Instagram Story after we announced it last week and said something like “less rah rah and more lah lah”, which I’d say summarises it pretty well.

What is ‘I Can’t Find the Words’ about?

At its core the song is about the loss of a relationship (rare, I know), but more specifically about not knowing how to explain the mess of feelings and emotions that you’re feeling during that disconnect. Sometimes words just aren’t enough anymore. And in some cases… maybe it’s better you don’t try.

Where did you draw inspiration from?

In general I think we draw inspiration from each other. Sometimes we just talk excitedly about the music we’re writing, or music other people are writing/have written. Often it’s not even music from the same ‘genre’ or ‘world’ that Belle Haven hails from but we’re just on the same page so hard lately. So that keeps the vibes really high and we keep writing more music. Inspired by the process, I guess.

Talk us through the process of creation on this track.

Initially I remember we had a bit of a conversation at Tom’s (Tom Mitchell – bassist) place about how we really wanted to fully embrace being an emo band and it just flowed so easily from there. We did work on a few demos that ended up as half-baked b-sides in the end before we landed on ‘I Can’t Find the Words’, but even listening back to those b-sides now we basically hit the ground running immediately. It has felt very cohesive the whole time.

Tom messaged us one day and was like, ‘I have an idea for a song but… it might not be Belle Haven, maybe it’s something else idk,’ and sent us a rough recording of his idea for the opening of the song (which essentially remained the same as it is today in the final product). We sort of acknowledged immediately that yeah, it does hit differently but it hits right.

Any good stories from production?

I’m pretty sure I was sick. I remember we were going to do it over a couple of days with CV and then I came down with something so we had to postpone vocal tracking and I had to tune in virtually for everything else. It was a bit janky but still very enjoyable to bring it to life. 

Otherwise, just the usual producing music with CV’s shenanigans… sometimes he just makes these insanely high whistle register noises and we die of laughter every time. Every time.

What else do you have in store for fans this year?

A lot. We have so, so many plans for this year and beyond but my lips are sealed. It all starts with ‘I Can’t Find the Words’, so if you’re spinning it, thank you so much!

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