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Can I get a soul clap? You can get a soul, funk and disco clap from L.A. outfit Bella Brown & The Jealous Lovers. Surely this can’t be some long overdue words on the debut LP Soul Clap by the L.A. outfit? It certainly can. Veterans of a number of EPs and singles, the band have finally dropped their debut album and, as expected, it’s a big, bold and mainly seventies-inspired affair.

The creative driving force behind the project is Grammy-award-winning singer/songwriter Carol Hatchett a.k.a Bella who has drawn inspiration from the likes of Tina Turner (pre-big hair and 80s solo success in terms of sound, presumably) and Sharon Jones. The Tina influence is most obvious on stomper Fast As Lightning towards the end of the LP whilst a bit of a Jones vibe comes through on the funky What Will You Leave Behind and the album’s only 60s-sounding cut – the lilting I Found You. Elsewhere things are more like a highly effective pastiche of the likes of Bohannon, The Chi-Lites and Sly Stone. A case in point is the the opener, title track and former single, now presented in its epic full version, just shy of eight minutes in length – including extended bongo breakdown. Also listen out especially for another bongo-tastic affair, Coming For You, another stomper – the perky, sunshiny Bang Bang Bang and funky self-affirmation anthem and former single (not to mention earworm with it’s singalong ‘hey yaa, hey hey yaass’) Living Proof. Soul clap indeed!
(Out now on LRK Records)

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