“Live your fantasy and embrace the stranger side of life with Bella’s Bartok. A band known for raucous theatrical performances and an outspoken political message of finding hope in a world beset by cruel uncertainty. With utter joy, they seamlessly blend a rich cacophony of sound and soul into their music with influences ranging from Punk to Folk and Pop to Americana. Let your freak flag fly high, fiercely and free, throw your societal inhibitions to the wayside and seek comfort in the warm sonic embrace of Bella’s Bartok. We are the night and you are bound to boogie.”
Bella’s Bartok’s newest release, Sticks and Stones, tells a story leading up to and through the Covid pandemic and the responses thus by individuals and the US government at large. The intent behind this song evolved over its lengthy writing process. The verse is the oldest part, dating melodically from late 2017 and lyrically from early 2018. It tells the tale of the dissolution of a long-standing romantic relationship, conjuring imagery of industry and failed emotional infrastructure.
Rust, rot and loss give way to the pre-chorus with the repeated call and response refrain of “We’ll work it out.” This section came about shortly before the pandemic, in November of 2019. More than a plea, the lyrics are an admonishment of despair, a reminder that hope does truly spring eternal — for both the individual and the community.
The key to this song is its chorus. Written in the deepest, darkest period of the pandemic. Rather than wallow in misery, the lyrics confront the certain doom of Covid, the loss and utterly inept response of government in trying to contain the disease. Like any good tongue-in-cheek political commentary, existential crisis can be defanged and declawed by taking the wind out of its sails. The world keeps spinning, even through the hypocrisy of those in power.