Track: Bellatrix fashions toxic romance into alt.pop silk with ‘Bad Love’


SHE’S got one of those brilliantly tonally expressive voices, which skips up and down the register with easy fluidity, flowing through the notes in the way Bjork does; but then, she knows a thing or two about leftfield vocal expression, being a former beatboxing world champion.

The artist we’re talking about? Bellatrix, who plies a line in a quality velvety, alt.pop, a little noir, a lot luxuriant.

She’s just dropped a new single, “Bad Love”, in which she coos, trills, sighs, declaims about the invisible cage of a bad love, that situation made worse by knowing what she wants; and it so isn’t this. Synth strings with a mellotron feel glide elegantly over a light, almost trip-hop groove; “How the fuck am I supposed to deal with this?” she sings with a whisper. It’s all about the nuance. It’s one of those songs that’ll suddenly sit home and seize you. And it’s from the heart – from raw, bruised experience.

“‘Bad Love’ is a realisation, and the lyrics speak for themselves,” says Bel. “I can remember being sat in a candlelit circle with my womxn’s group, and saying ‘I know that I’m in an abusive relationship, but right now I can’t see the door’.

“I was finally able to be completely real with myself about the situation. It felt like a moment that I could rest in, and prepare myself for what was to come next.

“There was a lot of grief, and not knowing, and also compassion. For me, and for them.”

Her forthcoming, four-track EP, I Was An Aphid, takes its name from a 1978 text by American feminist and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, who propounded that “women are maintained at a distant/inferior position to be psychically milked, much the same way ants maintain colonies of aphids to provide a life-giving substance for their masters.” The quartet of tracks therein detail the strength Bel has rediscovered since leaving that sour coupling.

“In 2019 I broke up from an abusive relationship that I’d been in for three years,” she explains. “When I look back I think ‘fucking hell, how did that happen?’ because I never expected it to happen to me.

“This EP is a journey through all that: the relationship, the end of it, and what happened afterwards.”

Bellatrix’s “Bad Love” is out now on digital streaming platforms; her EP, I Was An Aphid, will be out later this year.

Connect with Bellatrix elsewhere on the web on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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