Listen to Wild Rose, bella’s deeply poetic and succinct addition to the bedroom pop genre.
Bella Ortiz-Wren is the resonant, inviting voice behind bella. Their most recent release, Wild Rose, continues bella’s honestly dreamy, low-fi bedroom tunes but in a bigger way, featuring longer songs, more tracks, and a bit more musical urgency and variety.
Wild Rose invites listeners in for a peek at something familiar and revealing, like that small handmade gift living on your best friend’s shelf, or the edges of a love note emerging from a passing stranger’s journal. Undoubtedly, Ortiz-Wren engineered a unique sound and poetic diction for Wild Roses, though their approach mirrors other musical acts that fit into the “bedroom tunes” genre. What makes bella different is their precise use of these select sounds melding with their candid intimacy to create a signature poetic paring of music and storytelling.
For Ortiz-Wren, songwriting is not a linear craft. It functions not only as a means of expression but also as a way to process complex feelings about love, loss, and identity, “I would see writing songs as a form of journaling. I’ve never kept a journal, but I can track different memories, experiences, or feelings through the songs I’ve written,” says Ortiz-Wren. “It almost feels like a necessity.” This honesty and transparency is present in every note sung by Ortiz-Wren and in every echoing guitar cord.
In addition to the simple yet universal narratives embedded in these songs about unrequited love, the wilderness, and queer feelings, Ortiz-Wren writes about the complexities associated with being mixed race in the United States. Themes of reckoning with this specific identity are throughout Wild Rose and, according to the artist, are especially apparent in the song “siempre dejo algo,” the only track where Ortiz-Wren sings in Spanish. “That song is about this experience of floating in between these two places and not feeling very grounded in that position,” says Ortiz-Wren. “I think there are a lot of people who are biracial or bi-cultural who have the same experience of erasure or scrambling to scrape [together] what it means to have a mixed identity. I’m expressing a loss, and I’m not sure what that loss is.”
Top photo Bella Ortiz-Wren of bella | Photo by Willa Chandra