From The Horse's Mouth: Jane Smith of Belle Histoire on Dreamers


Belle Histoire released Dreamers this summer via InVogue.  Rather than review the record, we went right to the source and contacted Jane Smith.  Here is what she told Ghettoblaster about the band’s new record…
When did you begin writing the material for Dreamers?  
I collected lyrics from over two years ago and slowly pieced them together for songs with the boys. We really started perfecting the songs towards the end of February, 2012.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

“Home” was the weirdest to record. We kept trying to keep it simple, but we didn’t want it to be boring either. We even contemplated it being a bonus track that no one would know about. The song is super simple. It was written just about missing people, whether they have passed away, or they are just gone for awhile. We didn’t really know what we were going to do with this song, but we knew it had to be on the album. I think once we had it recorded, we played it by ear as to what to add. In the end, just a cello and some reverb did the trick!
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Definitely “My Dear.” When I wrote the song, it was super jazzy and slow. It reminded me of rainy day music or something. Then one day I came into the studio and heard what they did with the drums for it. It became a super upbeat folk song, and I loved it. “My Dear” was definitely the song that we were all super nervous about, but then we realized that it was single material towards the end of recording. I owe all my thanks to the boys for that song, I could have never thought of taking it in that direction.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

We had a guest cello player, on our song “Home”. She did an absolutely amazing job!
Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Our Previous second guitarist and our friend Joe Dunlap produced our record at the Bongo Tree Studios in Ohio. They definitely helped us a ton with this record. There were a lot of parts where we were unsure about what to do, and Aaron and Joe were our voice of reason. They definitely wanted to keep things creative, but also simple.
Is there an overarching concept behind Dreamers that ties the record together?
All of the lyrics on this record tie in with dreams that I’ve had, or how I think that everyone would be a little bit happier, if they dreamed more. We had a tough time coming up with a title, but then we all realized that almost all these songs talk about dreaming.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have ellicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

We started playing a couple songs from the record on a tour back in May. Almost all the songs from our previous releases were slow and hard to get into live, so we started playing “Don’t Run Away,” and “Kids” live. We were very surprised with how much people liked the new songs as they were so different from our previous material. “Don’t Run Away” was definitely an awesome song to play live, it seemed like everyone loved it!