Artist Spotlight

Review: Clara Bellino, “This Is Happiness - Hand in Hand”

2 Comments 10 November 2013

Review: Clara Bellino, “This Is Happiness - Hand in Hand”

“What Bellino has managed to do with this set of songs is to show a versatility, deft vocal touch and an attention to detail that shines through every moment of the record.”

Artist: Clara Bellino

EP: This Is Happiness - Hand in Hand

Genre: Jazz Pop

RIYL: Aimee Mann, Lisa Loeb, Suzanne Vega

Clara Bellino

Clara Bellino’s musical genesis is interesting and memorable, and easily translates into a hybrid of classic American songwriting mixed with the romanticism of French jazz and classical roots. It’s an intoxicating and charming mix of old world meets new with a…pardon the pun…French twist. What Bellino has managed to do with this set of songs is to show a versatility, deft vocal touch and an attention to detail that shines through every moment of the record.

Bellino’s catchy “This Is Happiness” kicks things off with a warm, bright, and sunny disposition; it’s pop perfection. What this track does so successfully is grips you in that moment of enlightenment, that moment when you recognize your true and total happiness. It’s lovely, in a word. “Driftwood” clocks in at a mere two minutes, but offers yet another glimpse into the versatility and maturity of Bellino’s work. This short, but very sweet, instrumental track is such an unexpected moment of musicianship that came at just the right moment.

“Hand in Hand” is a Bobby Sharp ballad, and Bellino offers up two very smooth and delightful interpretations on this record. The first is a solo Bellino, with a vocal track that sounds liquid, languid and definitely sets a romantic, old-world tone. The second finds Bellino in a duet with Bobby Sharp himself (who penned the classic “Unchain My Heart”), and the contrast of their voices is such a refreshing blend of experience and tone. There is a vintage quality to the pairing, and sits easily as a modern gem of its own, but stands up to classic duets of the past.

Clara Bellino’s artistry is what rings loud and clear above all of the individual and collectively interesting and unique moments on this record. She has a clear and intuitive understanding of how to meld her upbringing with her own modern experience in the American music scene. She is a unique voice, but the music itself is universal. Both are widely appealing, and Bellino’s infectious personality shines.

Clara Bellino website:


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Your Comments


  1. Will Buckley says:

    What a timely, insightful review capturing the essence of Bellino’s warm inviting charm as both a singer and a performer. 

    I say timely, because I caught Ms Bellino’s last set Saturday Night at an intimate French bistro La Fable in Berkeley.  Tucked away on what appeared to be a residential neighborhood, it was one of those cool late fall nights where the welcoming, warmth of the music felt just right.

    I thoroughly enjoyed spending time under the spell of Ms Bellino and until I see her the next time, I’ll spend time with her recordings.

  2. Peter Brown says:

    Great mood, love the 60’s 70’s vibe, love the song, groove and horns. Great effort. Great contribution.

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