A BIT ABOUT LINDA and BEND TO THE LIGHT…
With a sensual, intellectual, groove pop style, Linda Debella writes, records, and produces her own tracks to create a sound that’s uniquely hers. In the vein of newer, self-produced artists, she is unfettered by conventions as she blends synth pop with weaving guitars, pianos, hooky choruses and layers of vocals. Her second album, Bend to the Light, is an exploration of both passionate love and social consciousness. It’s an uplifting album, sure to make the listener muse about the swept away feeling of illicit love, while also contemplating our connection to others in confronting larger social issues. Like other recently released albums, the songwriting and production are influenced by two years of covid isolation, polarized politics and protest marches.
Her debut album, Jupiter Moon, was filled with well-crafted and thoughtful melodic pop. With Bend to the Light, she’s created a looser, groovier sound and has added more soul to her style. It’s cinematic at times, and exudes a hopeful outlook for our collective future.
The opening song, “Love is on the Way,” sets the tone and theme with its driving guitar, jazzy touches on keys, and powerful background vocals. She says, “we’re drowning in the drama and the shade / but love is on the way,” and implies that we are on the verge of a revolution fueled by compassion and community. Some of the album is unapologetically sexy, with Debella describing the addictive quality of love through the infectious groove of “Come Clean,” and the confessional “Sirens” saying “I took you like a drug / Now I need these chemicals in my blood.” In the sultry “Slow Seduction” she weaves a story of a reckless flirtation: “We’ve been innocent and shameless / and everything in between.” And the lilting, hypnotic “Bliss” will ring true for everyone who has that memory of the perfect sunny day driving to nowhere with their lover: “You drive with one hand free / and slide your hand to my knee… It’s sweet / when you’re in deep.”
In the upbeat “Walk a Mile,” Linda turns to the sociopolitical again, singing about inspiration and progress. She sings, “we are a fragile thing / but we are a mighty thing / we bend to the good / we bend to the light / we won’t go back / we won’t go break / and we won’t go quiet.” She’s never heavy-handed, even while addressing climate change in “Too Little Too Late” – she merely sings with unblinking concern and urgency in this emotional song built on a rhodes keyboard, a weaving guitar lead, and her signature layered background vocals. “Soldiers” is the optimistic answer telling us “lift your head up from your phone … you will never be alone… we are soldiers in the fight to stay the fading light… and more will come.”
Perhaps the most powerful song on the album is “Back to Whole,” a contemplation about the global pandemic shutdown. Linda says she wrote it when everyone was pulling together at the beginning of the quarantine. She tells us, “This life will turn you on a dime.” With her positive yet measured voice she sings, “Grace and gratitude we have found / and the love that’s swelling from the ground / will bring us back to whole,” but asks at the end “When we’re all better, will we be better?”
With Bend to the Light, Debella has arrived as a full-fledged, self-produced artist, with a meticulously produced insightful album that contemplates the complexity of love and life.
Linda Debella is a Los Angeles native. She was introduced to music very young with years of classical piano and singing to pop songs in the car on family road trips. And, at her first job as a receptionist in a Hollywood recording studio, she fell in love with music engineering and production.
Linda’s style is influenced by songwriters and artists with a more personal production style and who delve into social issues in addition to writing love songs – a mix of artists like Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Tracy Chapman, Michael Franti, John Mellencamp, Eminem and Sinead O’Conner. But it’s always been about the songs. And Linda’s true gift, like many of these artists, is creating stories that we recognize in our own lives.