Billie Wheeler

Video Premiere: Bill and the Belles Smile Through the Pain on 'Happy Again'

Tennessee roots band Bill and the Belles blend a traditional stringband sound with '60 pop on the deceptively upbeat "Happy Again," the title track from the band's forthcoming album (out May 21).

Band member Kris Truelsen says "Happy Again" was inspired by a particularly difficult stretch of time when finding deadpan humor in heartache seemed to be the only solution.

"This song fell into place very quickly. Some of the unfortunate situations I found myself in seemed so ridiculous that my reaction after the onset of heavy trauma was unconsciously finding humor in them," Truelsen tells Wide Open Country. "I was broke, trying to get divorced, my dog had just been diagnosed with a very unfriendly tumor (she beat it, thank god), I was grinding away working close to two full time jobs that weren't fulfilling and I had a root canal coming up. Looking back on it it's kind of a short list of woes but damn they weighed heavy on me. I felt beaten down and happiness was an impossibility. My life started to feel like some kind of twisted joke and I felt like 'Screw it. If this is how its going to be I may as well own it.' The seemingly outrageous components of 'Happy Again' sure didn't feel too far fetched at the time. Sometimes it hurts to smile and in hindsight I bet I had some kind of maniacal grin on my face while writing this one."

Watch the video for "Happy Again" below.

Bill and the Belles is made up of  Truelsen (guitar), Kalia Yeagle (fiddle), Andrew Small (bass) and Aidan VanSuetendael (banjo/banjo-uke).

Truelsen says the band is eager to push the boundaries of traditional stringband music in an attempt to create a timeless sound.

"One of my ultimate goals is to write songs that are hard to classify in a certain time period," Truelsen says in a press release. "To transcend the now."

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