Los Angeles-based reggae artist Irie Nature (born Carl Bellotti) has dropped his latest project, The Almost Acoustic Sessions EP to help ease you into a new year — one hopefully as calm and soothing as this release! The soft, gentle vibes of acoustic guitar, as well as Bellotti’s vocals, help coast you into a state of being abundantly full of overwhelming peace.
“I started laying [the EP] down right when the pandemic hit,” says Bellotti.
“[I was] forced to finish it via emails sent all over the country, from Kyle Ahern (of Rebelution) to Glenn Holdaway on trumpet. Let’s just say, a lot of love went into it. The last track actually has my kids playing guitar and drums on it! It was a family thing.”
Irie Nature was established in 2015 and Bellotti’s musical journey has gifted him with a close flow of established musicians over the years; playing festivals, clubs and local venues together all over California helped him continue to grow and expand his musical portfolio of love-driven reggae. The six-song record was released in December of 2020 and is available for streaming now.
Kicking things off for the EP is the track “By My Side”, which begins almost with a Led Zeppelin vibe, having a soft acoustic guitar strumming behind a majestic flute that drops you right in the middle of a lush, evergreen forest in NorCal. Shifting tones slightly to the more recognizable reggae vibes of SoCal, the intent of the song is pushed to the forefront right away, exclaiming sentiments of love and desire for having a loved one right by your side. The overall simplicity of the song helps to leave the focus on the lyrics, guiding the listener through different benefits of what having someone in your corner supporting you and loving you can do.
Jumping down to the fourth track of the album, “Empress”, we are joined by Glenn Holdaway, who’s muted trumpet adds a fantastic level of depth, as well as a unique sound that is so pleasant to the ears. It makes this one of the top songs on the album for myself. This track feels the most like a ‘reggae’ song to me. However, the message of the song holds its ow,n regardless of the melody backing it up.
“Empress” is a female empowerment song, encouraging women — of all ages — to stand up and become a powerful force to heal this world.
Irie Nature spends some time reflecting on females from his past that have provided so much guidance for him, as well as offering words of wisdom to future generations of Empresses. Closing things out is the Family Version of “Dance With Me”, where Irie Nature was able to have his kids join in on the fun, playing guitar and drums. It doesn’t take you long before you want to get up and dance with whomever is around!
The Almost Acoustic Sessions EP is a nice, relaxing acoustic roadway, perfect for those days where you want to lay around, roll one up tight and just sit back with the vibes, letting the music take you away. It is straightforwardness at its finest and it works in every way. Be sure to keep an eye out for more music from Irie Nature in the near future!
Purchase or stream ‘Almost Acoustic Sessions’ EP:
- By My Side
- Love and Herb
- Empress, feat. Glenn Holdaway
- Dance With Me
- Dance With Me – Family Version
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.