Soulful, southern singer-songwriter Noelle Bean relocated from Texas to Los Angeles last year to pursue a career in pop music. Bean gained recognition via YouTube, first posting original songs accompanied by only her acoustic guitar (check out “Sunshine”), and eventually progressing to music videos with full bands. Bean’s sweet and gentle voice earned her more than 33 thousand subscribers and nearly 3 million views. What set her apart from the other wannabe pop stars all over YouTube was her retro, 1950s pop sound (Doris Day, anyone?).
Rising like a phoenix I’ll make you see / I’ll burn even higher / burn even higher / I’m a wildfire
Now, Bean has released a new single, titled “Wildfire,” and it is slick, smart, catchy, clever, and, most noticeably, distinctly modern. Bean has removed retro keyboard sounds like those in “Cops and Robbers” and added a stronger drum and echoing vocals. The song is well produced and well written, and has the potential to seamlessly fit into pop radio rotations. It is a perfect summer smash, and not just because it was free on iTunes last week. Bean has certainly developed her sound and taken a chance, and though the message is triumphant and the sound matches appropriately, it’s possible the song will go farther than the artist. Without her unique genre, Bean does not stand out from the sea of other Los Angeles pop singers. “Wildfire” may signal a new direction for Bean, or may just be one experimental track. Until she releases a full album, it is impossible to say. Overall, “Wildfire” is a hit, and its successor will ultimately set the tone for Bean’s career from here on out.