Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Chrysta Bell (real name: Chrysta Bell Zucht) is a singer/songwriter who traverses several styles of alternative rock and dream pop.
Her parents being longtime musical enthusiasts (her mother is a professional singer who owned a San Antonio-based recording studio along with her father), Bell was introduced to various genres of music from an early age, going on to develop an eclectic taste which would prove to have an impact on her own work later. Her affinity for the work of artists such as Jeff Buckley, Francoise Hardy, Fiona Apple, and Nina Simone impassioned Bell, leading her to join her first band, the Texas-based swing jazz ensemble, 8½ Souvenirs, with whom she went on to release two albums: 1998’s Happy Feet and 1999’s Twisted Desire, both on RCA Victor. She then went on to briefly tour as vocalist with M.A.S.S. Ensemble, a performance troupe known for transforming live venue spaces into interactive musical instruments between performer and audience. 1999 was also the year in which she was introduced to visionary director David Lynch by a mutual friend. Having established an instantaneous rapport, Bell and Lynch made plans to work together as soon as possible, and went on to finish writing a song together after one day in a recording studio. This was to be the spark of a long collaborative partnership between the two, beginning with the track "Polish Poem," which Lynch went on to include in his 2006 feature film Inland Empire. Bell released her first independent release, Bitter Pills & Delicacies, in 2010. She swiftly followed up with her label debut for QQ5 and La Rose Noire Records, This Train. The album was co-written and produced Lynch, combining Bell's soothing vocals and illustrative lyrics with Lynch's affinity for languid, reverb-laden blues and jazz-rock. The record received widespread acclaim, with many critics comparing the vocalist’s performance to the early work of Goldfrapp alongside commending the effort for its sonic detail and lyrical storytelling. 2015 saw Bell pay tribute to Lynch and his career, performing alongside other acts such as Lykke Li, Moby, the Flaming Lips, Zola Jesus, and Duran Duran at a live benefit for the David Lynch Foundation in Los Angeles. The pair went on to collaborate further on the 2016 EP Somewhere in the Nowhere. The release boasted a similar sound palette to its predecessor, but with more electronic percussion and an altogether more ominous mood as opposed to the tranquil feel of previous efforts. The following year, she put out her third full-length, We Dissolve. The album marked a distinct shift from her releases with Lynch (who was absent this time around), incorporating elements of soul, jazz, alt-rock, trip-hop, and dub. It also featured performances from Adrian Utley of Portishead and Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))) with production handled by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Sparklehorse). Her creative endeavors with Lynch did not dwindle, however, with Bell making her major acting debut in the third series and 2017 revival of Twin Peaks, portraying the role of FBI Agent Tammy Preston. ~ Rob Wacey, Rovi