Formed by married couple Noëlle Hampton and André Moran from Austin, Texas, The Belle Sounds‘ latest EP is Black Stone; it follows their eponymous debut. Their latest effort possibly stays a little complacently in their comfort zone of folksy indie-pop, drifting unwittingly into a sort of easy-listening variety and perhaps not making the most of what Noëlle Hampton’s voice has to offer. The title track of this EP is the clearest example of this and it is actually the couple proceeding tracks that flaunt their strengths in a kind of folksy Americana sound. “The Siren” is one such key track for this, despite a weaker start, eventually gets into its stride being reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac and perhaps even trace of the Carpenters, melodically, but mainly in the soft and wistful vocals of frontwoman, Hampton.
“The Ghost of Mykonos” effectively follows a similar blueprint, with this otherworldly and ethereal kind of theme, reaffirming these popular comparisons frequently made between the trio and Fleetwood Mac. The lack of dynamism in the tracks “Golden Boy” and “Drifter” instils a soundtrack-y feel to the EP. Hampton’s graceful piano melody on “Drifter” does, however, stand out from this uniformity. Overall the EP does show glimmers of potential in “The Siren” and “The Ghost of Mykonos” but falters to fully make its mark as strong follow up record.