BELLS ATLAS Thurs 11/2 Holocene
BELLS ATLAS Thurs 11/2 Holocene Brandon West

Two artists helped carry me through the stormy first weeks of 2017: Solange and Bells Atlas, an Oakland group that’s been around since 2011, but that I only first heard about with the 2016 single “Spec and Bubble.” The band has since released another single, “NCAT (Nothing Comes After This),” and it’s just as stellar. Sandra Lawson-Ndu’s soft vocals lace together delicate handclaps, minimalist synth, and droning guitar riffs. Bells Atlas’ dynamic melodies drip with cosmic funk—the band self-describes its sound as “kaleidosonic soul punch.”

They’ll join Y La Bamba frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza’s sixth annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, which also serves as the 10th anniversary party for her record label, Tender Loving Empire. (It’s part of TLE’s All Together Festival.) Community members are encouraged to meet at Sunnyside Elementary School for a guided procession through the Lone Fir Cemetery with customary face paint, candles, and canciones. Once the procession arrives at Holocene, floral altars will pay homage to the departed as traditional Danza Azteca by a local group cleanses the space. (Be sure to abstain from drinking during the ceremony.) Both the living and the dead will be encouraged to party “all together.”