Tag: Milagres IDNYL

Over the past couple of years of this site’s almost nine-year history, i’ve written quite a bit about the Belgian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Maarten Devoldere, best known as the frontman of two critically applauded, internationally recognized acts Balthazar and JOVM mainstays Warhaus. Now, as you may recall, Warhaus is a sonic departure from Devoldere’s work with Balthazar, as the project’s sound was an atmospheric, jazz-inspired art rock the brought to mind The ChurchSting’s The Dream of the Blue Turtles and Nothing Like the SunEdith Piaf, and Leonard Cohen — all while paired with Devoldere’s urbane, decadent, novelistic lyrics.

While Devoldere was busy with Warhaus, at one point writing much of the project’s sophomore album in a remote retreat in  Kyrgyzstan, his Balthazar songwriting partner, co-frontman and longtime friend Jinte Deprez remained in Ghent, holing himself in the studio, where he indulged his love of old-school R&B, eventually releasing a solo album as J. Bernardt. During Balthazar’s hiatus, the band’s songwriting duo found the ability to indulge their whims and follow their creative muses in different directions — while receiving boy commercial and critical success to be liberating. But it also created an undeniable urge between the two to write together again, propelled by a broader artistic horizon and their mutual respect for real other’s work.

When the members of Balthazar reconvened, they did so without any particular plan, just a desire to better their previously released work and to further the band’s story. Interestingly, the duo of Devoldere and Deprez agreed that the material should have an overall less serious, less melancholy feel, leaning towards a looser, refreshed sound — while retaining the hook driven quality that they’ve long been known for. And the end result is the band’s forthcoming full-length Fever, which is slated for a January 25, 2019 release through Play It Again Sam Records. Interestingly, album title track and first single “Fever” was a slinky and sultry track, centered around a strutting bass riff, stomping percussion, a swooping string motif, a sinuous hook, a twinkling bridge and Devoldere’s plaintive baritone. Interestingly, the single finds the band crafting swaggering and infectious pop that’s accessible, carefree, and flirty. “Entertainment,” Fever‘s second single continued in a similar vein as its predecessor, as it was upbeat, playful and careful but centered around a swaggering and strutting vibe and an anthemic hook — and while while nodding at The Rolling Stones‘ “Sympathy for the Devil, the Jinte Deprez-led song features some Afro pop-like polyrhythmic percussion. “I’m Never Gonna Let You Down Again,” Fever‘s third and latest single is a slow-burning, synth-led Quiet Storm R&B-inspired song led by Jinte Deprez that sonically and thematically reminds me of Milagres’IDNYL” and classic Hall and Oates. As Deprez explains in press notes, “I’m Never Gonna Let You Down Again’ is a breakup song with a twist, a groovy soul ode with a synthesizer, a chorus with a Bee Gee touch. It’s shaking it off, wherever it stuck.” Admittedly, Balthazar’s forthcoming album is something I’m looking very forward to; but perhaps more important, from the album’s first three singles, the band reminds listeners familiar with their sound that they’ve always had an uncompromisingly intellectual band with an accessible approach — all while possessing one of the most unique aesthetics I’ve come across in some time.

 

 

Perhaps best known as a touring and session guitarist for the likes of renowned pop acts such as Charli XCX and BØRNS,  Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Cecilia Della Peruti has been receiving attention across the blogosphere over  the past few months for her New Wave and post-punk leaning solo recording project, Gothic Tropic. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over those past few months, you may recall that I wrote about her Peruti’s first two singles as a solo artist, “Stronger,” a single that sounded as though it owed a debt to the Go-Gos The B52s and others, and “How Life Goes,” a lush and atmospheric song in which shimmering guitar chords played through reverb and delay pedal are paired with a propulsive and driving rhythm, gently buzzing synths and a bluesy guitar solo that made the song sound as though it drew from Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” production, 80s New Wave, shoegaze and power pop.

“Don’t Give Me Up,” is the third and latest single off Peruti’s forthcoming Gothic Tropic full-length debut effort, Fast or Feast, which is slated for an October 28, 2016 release, and the single continues along a similar vein of “How Life Goes” as shimmering guitar chords, atmospheric synths, a funky and sinuous bass line and Peruti’s sultry (yet ethereal) come hither vocals in what may arguably be the project’s slinkiest and sexiest song released to date while drawing from R&B and New Wave in a way that to my ears, reminds me a bit of Mligares‘ “IDYNL” and “Urban Eunuchs” off Violent Light, complete with a plaintive ache at its core.