“Change Yer Life,” the new Bella’s Bartok album released on March 26th, 2016, will excite fans as the first album that truly reflects the band’s pop gold klezmer punk sound. Says guitarist/accordion and mandolin player Jesse Putnam, this album “contains the songs and sounds as they are meant to be heard; the tunes refined to reflect their individual intentions.” A compilation of fan favorites, “Change Yer Life” invites you to share in the spectacle of the Bella’s Experience, whether while driving, sitting at home, or maybe doing some carefree improvisational dancing and jumping when (you think) nobody’s watching.
From circuses and smoky soirees, Lovecraftian affairs and the nocturnal gatherings of society’s undesirables, the songs on “Change Yer Life” reflect the hectic and eclectic minds that compose the group. “Social justice, classic horror, or old friends long gone” all influence Lead Singer Asher Putnam’s emotional state and lyrical content. “There is always a theme and an element of the horror/fantastic in every song I write, as well as a sense of loss.” These themes live and dance in this album, full of fan favorites from the live Bella’s set. Songs such as The Fiddler and the Devil and The Strigoi Waltz borrow from Jewish folklore and supernatural tales. Others tend toward the more personal or emotional, as in Mother, a dance ballad written as a paean to mothers and a plea to forgive their children. Science puts on display a love for Nikola Tesla and his scientific contributions and psychological quirks. The brisk, Django-esque romp, Zora, jangles ironically over its themes of civil rights and the hypocritical violence of Zionist ideology. Creepster uses its relentlessly upbeat country vibe to unveil the inherent creepiness in coveting someone from afar, and Party Song mocks the exhausting absurdities in privileged party culture. Produced and engineered by guitarist Chris Kerrigan, “Change Yer Life” was recorded at Amity House Productions and is the first full length album with the band’s current line-up.