⫷ Recording ⫸

Finally! Next week, in a studio in my hometown of Woodstock, NY we will begin making tangible things from the notes in my head. This is the thing i love doing most of all.  If you want to be kept up on the play by play {ish}, sign up on the mailing list on this page, and follow me on instagram. We will be posting stories & sounds and nonsense. Please stay with me to be a part of it all. 

Art & Commerce

As some of you know, I have recently completed a body of songs that I very much want to record in total. They are extremely special to me and I truly believe in my soul they were divinely guided by a Force of peace.

The record I want to make will cost many thousands of dollars, as it calls for lots of special & expensive people and things & places. ~ So, YES, I am looking for financial support. But, I do believe that what I am asking for is a win-win-win situation. Currently, I am on the Artist Roster of a not for profit organization called the ‘The Field’.  The Field takes a small percentage of any of your contributions and puts them BACK into resources to support working artists. And, the good news for you is that your donation is completely TAX DEDUCTIBLE. So, I win, The Field wins, and ultimately you win!


I am asking that you consider helping me make this record by contributing to this project. Unless you prefer to remain anonymous, your name will be in the credits. You will receive all the usual stuff ~ the record itself, admittance to shows for reduced, or no costs to you etc. etc. But most importantly, you will be deeply and energetically woven into something that I believe brings a Force of good into play, and perhaps ~ could even soften the edges of some of our saddest of days. ~ And if it’s not right for you to contribute at this time, just know that I thank you from the bottom of my heart anyway! I am so very grateful for your Love, support and time thus far. Everything from this point on is simply overflow…

Peace & Love,





🌲 Opening for {and playing with!} Two Dark Birds NYC 🌲

http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1562451  I LOVE THIS BAND. This music is so completely vulnerable and moving ~  I can barely get through a set without crying. The clarity that comes from writing music in the woods is something i truly resonate with ~ and this band takes you there whether you have access to the Pines or not. my band starts at 8:30 {sharp they say!}, and TDB immediately following. I hope to see all of my NYC babes at the show. you know who you are. Love, Sandy

autopsy video

Art Daily Magazine recently featured a VIDEO that we made last winter – almost by accident. . with my dear friend, Artist/Director David Doobinin. David was up in Woodstock for a day and we merely shot some moments to song. David put together this cut recently and quite unexpectedly surprised me with it. the video is for the song “Autopsy” which was written after my father’s death. My father’s illness was so painful, and once he died, the ensuing grief was simply too enormous and confusing to grasp. … i somehow felt spiritually Forced to examine my own pain. but truly, I now believe that was merely a coverup designed to Force me to understand His.

. So,.. as though performing an Autopsy { with song } ~ I discovered that my Father had no father to essentially show him so many important things { although he eventually found his way, ~ in his own way ~.. } This discovery BROKE MY HEART ~ and so I wanted to set him free ~ by letting him know that we all very, very much understood…

,.. we shot some scenes in a few random places where still I oddly feel a connection to my father.…yes, i am walking through the local pharmacy. ; )

i hope it moves you in some way.

and a very Special thank you to Art Daily for picking up the video.…

singing with bat for lashes

fortunate is not a word that adequately describes how i felt the day simone felice {natasha kahn’s – aka ‘bat for lashes’} producer called and asked me to sing a few notes on her record. more like a dream come true…. natasha is a remarkable artist and i had an absolute blast. i also got to sing alongside the genius of rachael yamagata.
‘the bride’ is released today. go here to get it and be prepared to be carried up and far, far away. she is so uniquely Neil-Krug-Bat-for-Lashes-The-Bride-2dreamy. …

beautiful review from stereo embers magazine

Written by: Alex Green

Sandy Bell’s When I Leave Ohio summons a haunting vision of Emily Dickinson behind the wheel of a dusty 1978 Maverick playing Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter and preparing to get the hell out of town.

Bell’s album is all about running away, but not because she’s being chased—she’s running away because the tedium of the quotidian world in which she lives is no way to live at all. And as we all know, tedium is a slow killer that takes years to blow your head off and Bell’s observations of daily life suggest she’s not up for it. She refuses to let herself get frozen in the kind of bleak Hopperian landscape where people zombie their way from gas stations to cafés to theaters never even looking at each other.

It’s hard to live somewhere when you don’t want to live there and it’s even harder to maintain an equipoise that’s not only manageable but also won’t drive you insane. Bell’s departure has less to do with any last chance power drive or rocketshipping dramatically down the freeway with the city burning behind her. It’s a quiet exodus that’s the equivalent of a small shrug, a changing of the mind, a boat slipping away down the river from one darkness into another.

And that darkness is the thing that Bell is reckoning with on When I Leave Ohio. Anyone can leave—that’s the easy part—but if you think of Benjamin and Elaine sitting in the back of the bus soaked in sweat and triumph, you’re forgetting the way that very same sweat and triumph did a pre-credit dissolve and turned into something resembling terror. Bell chases that terror and it chases her right back and the result is one of the darkest, most moving song cycles this critic has heard since Patty Griffin’s Living With Ghosts or Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.

The titular opener is a jaw-dropping procedural (“Drive into the parking lot/Put on your blue eye shadow”) about preparing to leave. The speaker pulls into work, lights a series of cigarettes and punches the clock one last time. The pause between her boss telling her she’s needed at Register Four and the stultifying fury that request surely must incite is one of the most wrenching and anxious .029865 seconds you’ll ever hear. It’s the sound of a kind of comporting of the psyche and what’s left of the soul— how Bell managed to record the tension of that instant is utterly thrilling.

And it only gets better from there.

“I Quit” is an impossibly gutting number whose subject prepares to attend a party that “celebrates the end of everything.” It’s also about the aching glare of a light bulb and the coldness of the world. “I Can Still Feel Your Power” is a ghostly battle-march that’s part funeral procession and part nod to the everlasting effect people have in our lives long after they’re gone.

Later, the hypnotic “Autopsy” is a harrowing spiritual post-mortem and the album closing “Wake Me” is a rousing aural manual of what to leave behind in order to move forward.

When I Leave Ohio is beautiful, resonant work that’s stark and painful, oddly comforting and deeply, deeply sad. Sandy Bell’s songs have such poetic precision and crushing emotional exactitude, her work is nothing short of staggering.

lynn’s prelude

this was a piece arranged by jeff lipstein titled ‘lynn’s prelude’. it proceeds a song on our record, ‘when i leave ohio’ called ‘clothesline’ ~ a song written for my father. his name was lynn and he died in 1998. i am wearing his coat today. i also wore it on the day i filmed these horses in iceland. i felt him then too. …

march doesn’t hurt like it used to

IMG_2546IMG_2631I used to despise the month of march. i always felt so trapped. So in-between the innocence of the first snowfall, and typically speaking, too many dank days away from a true warming sun. also, Someone I love very much, died in march.
last year I purposely set out on a quest in an attempt to transform my painful association with this month into something else. I knew the memories could never be totally eradicated, but I thought maybe they could change color or become softer or further away or something. So, I decided on a solo trip to Iceland. We were living in Brooklyn at the time and I was sad, stressed out and had many questions about lots of things. I knew that I desperately needed wide, clean, infinite breathing space. And I needed alarming quiet in order to think ~ to rest. I knew that in spite of my willfulness to hang on and not change, my own personal landscape was evolving, and however unclear and uncertain I still was about specifics, it was important to me that i remain open and move forward with a confident { Latin ‘con fides’ ~ ‘with faith’ } heart and a clear mind. While in iceland, I chose to stay far away from the city and just let the sky and instinct gently propel me from place to place. each day I would set out to explore with my standard provisions: my phone { for security but no service }, a paper map, a pen, cashews and water. I just walked and walked. And while I wouldn’t see people for hours at a time, I found great company and ‘conversation’ with a herd of Icelandic Horses*. I talked to myself, sang, cried, and felt insanely awake. One night around midnight I trekked out in hopes of a glimpse of the Northern Lights. According to the locals, conditions were promising. I tried to envelop myself in the blackest part of the landscape. I walked toward the dark with my feet crunching on the white, white snow and as I looked up I saw more stars than I have ever seen in my life. these celestial orbs were so bright that I felt I could almost reach up and pluck them from the sky like apples. I stopped walking. I stood still. The quiet was so loud it drowned out the voices in my head. The only sound I heard was my own heart beating. This turned out to be the only clue I could find to assure me that I had not, in fact, died and gone to heaven.

*The Icelandic horses are released each spring and are able to run free until fall. There is a beautiful film about this arranged phenomenon. http://www.herdiniceland.com/