Out today on all streaming services, The Belle Curves have released their newest track “Check Engine Light‘‘ following an exclusive premiere with Americana Highways. The sophomore single sets the tone for their forthcoming studio album ― Watershed ― which is slated for release on June 24, 2022.
The Belle Curves is the solo project of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Delaney Hafener, whose music style conveys a softness and understanding of others that touches each listener. In “Check Engine Light,” Hafener tells the story of her travels across the United States from coast to coast. In support of the release comes a light-hearted visual with supporting animations that paint the picture vividly for the listener in a crystal blue skyline. The road trip that Hafener speaks about draws the parallel connection of what it means to be an American.
“Check Engine Light” will leave listeners with a sense of wanderlust that can only be achieved by a long drive with the windows down and a car stereo blasted to the max.
“This song is actually a true story, word for word. In 2019, my partner and I took a road trip across the country in my little 2004 Pontiac Vibe. There was hardly enough room for everything we packed and the check engine light came on on the third day or so as we were leaving North Carolina. When we got down to New Orleans, a nice man working at an AutoZone told us not to worry about it so we didn’t. We took this little car across Texas then up to San Francisco and made a bee-line back across the plains to be back at their mom’s place in North Carolina in time for Thanksgiving. The whole time we were on the road I just wished we had more space.
I ended up finally buying a conversion van, a 2002 GMC Savana, in spring of 2021. We accidentally camped in Joshua Tree Veteran’s Day weekend and I think about half the population of LA was also there that weekend. That’s what the ‘Instagram girls’ line is about.
We stumbled across three or four different photoshoots while we were there. As we were driving, we were listening to a book called ‘American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America’ and it was so fascinating to see the cultural landscapes shift in line with the book’s perspective of this continent’s complicated and often violent history. So much of what it means to be an American, and how fragmented and culturally diverse a country it truly is, came into focus for me in those 6 weeks.”
– Delaney Hafener of The Belle Curves
Long Island, New York may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of country-Americana music with a strong rural connection, but you might think differently after spending some time with the work of singer-songwriter Delaney Hafener. The driving force behind The Belle Curves, Hafener has a way of turning your assumptions upside down. Whatever preconceived notions you harbor about country music, the USA, love, relationships, identity and belonging, you’ll likely find yourself looking from a newfound vantage point after hearing a few Belle Curves songs. Though certainly incisive, Hafener’s music also conveys consideration, thoughtfulness, and a sincere desire to know what it’s like in another person’s shoes, even when taking them to task. Hafener approaches her songwriting from the premise that country music, and American roots music more generally, have infinite room to grow, even as she honors all the tradition that precedes her.