Bittersweet Vibes

By Charlie Vargas

Dancy melodies have found a home in the ears of the Inland Empire.

Ariel View formed in Ontario in 2013. Consisting of members Harmonie Martinez and Dulce Zanabria as guitar/vocals, Heaven Martinez on bass/back-up vocals and their new drummer Nadine Parra, the group continues to flourish in the backyards and venues of the Inland Empire while striving to stay an all-girl band.

“Since there is not that many girl bands out there we wanted to be one of the few,” Zanabria said.

Harmonie Martinez and Zanabria began as an acoustic two-piece playing at open mic nights on occasion. Like most bands, they began as a cover band but found themselves eager to evolve.

“For me it was like, wouldn’t it be cool if I wrote my own songs?” Harmonie Martinez said. “I wouldn’t just know everybody else’s songs, it’d be our own songs and we just grew from that.”

From then on the band began to write their own songs and pushed comlpete their sound which required additional members. Harmonie Martinez’s younger sister, Heaven Martinez, took the band’s role as their bassist and helped amplify their sound. The band has shifted between drummers before finding Parra, but in their four piece band has found themselves to be productive as a whole.

Harmonie and Heaven Martinez’s influences come from bands and songwriters The Beatles, Hayley Williams, The Doors, Nora Jones, The Smiths and The Strokes. Zanabria finds herself heavily influenced by the music written by Dallas Green who carries a more somber feeling that Zanabira emulates and expresses through her songwriting.

“Dulce is the source of our sadness in our music,” Harmonie Martinez joked.

The band does carry melancholic messages of heartache resulting from break ups, family conflict and other faltered relationships. However, they are not your average heartbreak anthems. Instead of the lyrics revolving around blaming the other person as most heartbreak anthems do, focuses on the feeling the feeling itself. Songs from their self-tilted DIY album like, “How Much Longer” and “Gone” contain sadder lyrics but the rhythm they keep is one to sway to, giving them a bittersweet combination of flowy melodies and gloomy lyricism.

They all agree there is a balance each of them bring to the table. Harmonie brings happy upbeat feelings to the music, while Heaven and Zarabira blend in their sorrows to give them a fluid sound.

“You don’t really want to have a C.D. where all the songs are going to sound the same,” Zanabira said.

The song writing is typically done together at their practices and they hope to not only write songs about their personal experiences, but also songs that people can relate to and find fulfilling.

“They’re all digging the music and they don’t look like they would,” Harmonie Martinez said.

Ariel View plans to release a new album near the end of the year and hopes to extend their fan base. They spend the majority of their time playing shows in Fontana, Ontario and San Bernardino alongside bands that don’t really share their same genre of music on stage, but they are typically flattered by the crowds’ responses.

“It feels amazing,” Heaven Martinez said. “It’s one thing vibing on your own but vibing with another is the best feeling ever.”