Bellow.Wing: A true talent
by Caitlin Cohen
Photo by Jim Kullmann
Carrie Crockett, aka Bellow.Wing, wears many hats when it comes to music. Bellow.Wing’s primary focus is solo accordion playing and performing, however she also dabbles in other instruments and working with different artists.
She’s been making her own music for a decade, playing as Bellow.Wing for six years. Over the course of her musical experience, Crockett has fallen in love with playing piano, slide trombone, musical saw, the ukulele, and several other instruments. Her musical journey began at just seven years old when she started classical piano instruction.
“My older brother took lessons when I was too young to take them. I just loved it and loved it. I would write his piano teacher notes saying that I couldn’t wait to meet her and couldn’t wait to take lessons from her,” Crockett said.
She makes a special connection with all of her instruments, however the accordion holds a notable place in her heart because it was the first instrument that inspired her to start writing songs.
“It’s like a portable piano and things just kind of clicked for me musically in a way that I could just write music so I just kept writing songs on it. I can carry it around, I can bus with it, and I can hide behind it (laughs),” Crockett said. “It’s just a really beautiful instrument; it’s extremely versatile and it’s a lot of fun to play songs that you wouldn’t think you would hear on the accordion. It’s a complete package; you can do rhythm, bass, and melodies on it.”
While Crockett has grown and learned a lot practicing and playing a wide variety of instruments, she also appreciated each of her collaborations, including Skitnik, Strangely, and Hot Damn Scandal. Mostly, collabs have pushed her further outside of her comfort zone in some way. For example, the Spandex Zebra project – a duo of Crockett and her friend, Bladeybug – helped her past the fear of making music alone. When Bladeybug moved away, Crockett realized she enjoyed making music enough to want to continue; playing alone was better than not playing at all.
Crockett said the classically trained part of her only wants people to hear her music when it’s perfected to how she wants it, which can add a lot of pressure for live performances. Bellow.Wing’s collaboration with Strangely taught her to shamelessly be herself when performing.
“A big part of why I wanted to work with him and a huge thing he has taught me is that you can be shitshow and that’s okay. I still want all my shit together before I perform a song in public, but I’m way more comfortable on stage and being myself instead of holding back,” Crockett said. “That’s huge for why I write my songs and the vulnerability I’m wanting to relate. If I’m just a statue up there then the songs may be relatable but the person isn’t. I want to be able to talk about why I write the songs, be awkward, and ramble—that’s what I think makes me relatable. My goal is to learn to be less afraid to do that. I’m always going to be a student… and a teacher. ”
Vulnerability plays a huge role in Bellow.Wing’s lyrics. A lot of her songs touch on experiences of sorrow and the resulting growth. In her most recent album, The Dust Never Settles, Crockett wanted to show her other side, including gratitude and her sense of humor. One song is a thank you to a friend; another is about the attachment to your favorite shirt and how difficult it is to let it go (despite the fact that it’s literally falling apart). She even included a pop song making fun of other pop songs to prove that she can write pop songs.
Looking ahead, she plans on shifting her music in a new direction. Her goal is to form a band with people who want to play similar music and go on tours (and is currently extending feelers out there). Whatever direction her music takes, it will provide another lesson to learn.
Catch Bellow.Wing at the What’s Up! Anniversary Show on March 2 at the Honeymoon. Check out her newest release, The Dust Never Settles, at: https://bellowwing.bandcamp.com/album/the-dust-never-settles.
Published in the March 2018 issue of What’s Up! Magazine