bella white

Bella White

A truly original new voice in songwriting, Bella White creates an undeniable magic by mining the rare duality at the heart of her artistry. Although she hails from the Canadian city of Calgary, the 20-year-old singer/multi-instrumentalist grew up on the classic country and old-time music she first discovered thanks to her father, a Virginia native who played in bluegrass bands all throughout her childhood. On her debut album Just Like Leaving, White balances her old-soul musicality with a lyrical perspective that’s entirely of-the-moment, embracing an intense self-awareness as she documents her coming-of-age in real-time. “I’m still quite young, but I was very young when I wrote this album,” says the Nashville-based artist. “All of these songs came from processing my feelings right as I was experiencing certain things for the first time in my life.”

Produced by Patrick M’Gonigle of The Lonely Heartstring Band and mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Dave Sinko, Just Like Leaving bears a powerful authenticity that prompted Rolling Stone to praise White’s songwriting as “sublime Appalachian heartbreak.” In sculpting the album’s sparse but lushly detailed sound, White worked with a lineup of musicians she encountered through years of making the rounds at roots-music festivals, including Reed Stutz (mandolin, vocals), Julian Pinelli (fiddle, vocals), and Robert Alan Mackie (bass). “I met everyone by jamming together, which felt perfect for this album—I really wanted it to sound like friends making music,” says White, who plays guitar on Just Like Leaving. “The whole process felt very collective and collaborative, and everyone’s creative choices ended up shining through.”

Currently writing for her second album, White has already begun to see the impact of her debut’s exacting self-reflection. “Just Like Leaving feels like a storybook of the things I went through when I was 18 and 19—each song is about a very specific feeling from my relationships during that time,” she says. “I’ve had a lot of younger people tell me that they relate to the experience of learning about yourself through someone else, and I’ve also had older folks tell me how it reminds them of when they were younger. I used to fear sometimes that I might run out of things to say in my songs, but I don’t feel that way after seeing how this album has affected people. It’s reminded me that there will always be a creative source for me to tap into.” 

Performing Thurs/friday

PO BOX 2024, MILTON, WA 98354

(253) 428-8056

Wintergrass is a production of Acoustic Sound, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. EIN: 91-2103544
all photos copyright Maria Camillo