“Belltown” was inspired by a moment I had one night as I was transferring buses in the Belltown neighbourhood of Seattle. There was a woman in line ahead of me, eyes glued to her red high-heeled boots as she shuffled demurely onto the bus. She stood tall with broad shoulders, donning a long black dress and messy, dark hair that covered her downcast eyes. She carried with her a sense of deep longing to be invisible. It seemed to be a sense born out of necessity as if she had been seen and been hurt and felt safe only in the background. She didn’t lift her eyes even once as she disappeared slowly into the back of the bus. 

“Belltown” is the song we wrote for this woman. It is a song for her as she wakes up each morning and sees herself in the mirror, knowing that how she wishes to present to the outside world and how the world chooses to see her will never be the same. Yet even as she hides amongst the crowd, when she draws into herself, she has a rich and vibrant inner life. Her reality exists in her mind, the place in which she never has to doubt her body, her clothes, her mannerisms, or her very existence. 

At the end of the song, we find her realizing that her vitality is in her own hands and that choosing to be more than the summation of others’ expectations is her ultimate power. 

Sparse at first, the hushed, spacious vocals and velvety, chorus-laden guitar play amongst the dancing cymbals as if coaxing her into the safety of a lullaby. Yet as the song progresses and the instrumentation builds, the melodic synth overtones and cheerful, fluttering bass draw her into a sense of her own strength, held together by the assertion that “She might be the one she really needs.”