Ali Beletic is a rover. Her wandering spirit is present in every form her artistic expression manifests, and she connects cosmopolitan sensibilities with the uncharted territories she so comfortably roams. As an installation artist she meandered through the remote desert to install mahogany and glass Judd-like sculptural pools injecting more life into the bare, arid landscape; she lit up an entire boulder field so visitors could hike though and discover its hidden wonders; she adventured through backcountry on motorcycles to creating beautiful streaks of fire. As a singer-songwriter, she embodies the venturesome spirit of the famous explorers of old, proud to return home and relay the conquests and revelations of her adventures.
On Legends Of These Lands Lost she shares her nomadic spirit beautifully. Her low, sultry tone commands expansive guitar lines ranging from the rustic twang of Ennio Morricone to the soulful chicken grease chords of Skip James and the crunch of proto-punk. Her lyrics forcefully and gorgeously evoke a connection to lands lost and romanticized through time. Stripped of all the intrigue and introspection her roaming inspires, the album is still just good, versatile straight-up rock-n-roll, from tender ballad to rumbling, distorted anthem. The vastness of the terrain she explores is reflected in how far-flung the varied aesthetics on the album are. Truly, Beletic and the album are living, breathing reminders of what J.R.R. Tolkien meant when he wrote “Not all those who wander are lost.” She had this to say about the album:
I spent several years in the desert crafting this record. It’s a very emotional, raw and inspired record. It took a lot to get there. Many ideas, reflections, art stunts, a couple cool motorbikes, faded direct, overlaying symbolism, passing torches through the hills, nights out in the wild, an old storied buffalo robe, cliffside movement, patience, many days playing guitars, chasing the ecstatic, a reflection pool, studio after studio, setting sights for the horizon, and all the wonderful people I met along the way.
Legends Of These Lands Left To Live is out 6/17 on Lightning Records. Pre-order it here.