Support: Faces on TV
European live dates – February / March / April 2019
Balthazar are pleased to announce their return with news of the forthcoming album Fever on 25th January 2019. Listen to the album’s title track Fever here - http://smarturl.it/BalthazarFeverSingle
It’s clear from the opening notes of the album’s first and title track Fever that the five-piece have changed, not least due to their individual musical pursuits over the past few years. Opening with a rolling languid bass riff, Fever unfurls into a slinky sunset jam, a swooping string motif adding drama to the funky bustle that fanfares Balthazar into new territory with their fourth album; honest, playful and underpinned with a carefree abandon from two extraordinary songwriters.
Having emerged from a hiatus of sorts which saw frontmen and writing partners Jinte Deprez and Maarten Devoldere both undertake solo journeys, that step away from the band leading them down interesting paths, be it personal or creative. The break saw Devoldere release two albums of lush, moody art-jazz as Warhaus which, freed from the work constraints of Balthazar, eventually resulted in him ending up at a retreat in Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, his best friend since school, Deprez, remained at home in Ghent working in the studio, indulging his love of old-school R&B, and releasing a solo record under the nom de plume J. Bernardt. The freedom to indulge their whims and the result of those solo successes led to the urge to write together again, propelled by a broader artistic horizon and hastened by their mutual respect for each other’s work.
On reconvening the band had no plans, just a simple desire to better their previous works, and to further the band’s story. Both primary songwriters agreed on a less serious vision leaning towards a looser, refreshed sound – less melancholic, but retaining their unerring ability to create a hook-laden armoury. As Devoldere explains; “Some songs felt like classic Balthazar pop songs, others a little chipper, but it wasn’t until we had Fever that we had the foundation for the rest of the album.”
Faces On TV is the creation of Jasper Maekelberg, a multi-instrumentalist and producer who’s intelligent and adventurous psychedelic pop has caused a stir in his native Belgium.
The celebrated sound-architect is set to release his eagerly-anticipated debut album ‘Night Funeral’ on the 20th April via Unday Records. A polychromatic symphony of magnetic synths, shuffling rhythms and exotic sounds, echoes of Air, Alt-J and Portishead can be heard across the album, resulting in a multicoloured fusion of sparkling percussion, crafting beats and tempting vocals.
Tracks like recent single ‘The Image of Boy Wonder’, conjure up a psychedelic dream-world of bass-heavy trip hop and eerie ambience, backed by epicurean female vocals, resulting in an alluring nugget of poptronica, while new single ‘Dancing After All’, is a rich mix of fizzing electronics that tells a tale of debauchery, twisted love and broken emotions, a familiar theme across the album.
“This last year was kind of hard for me. I was touring a lot and when I wasn't in the van or on a stage I was producing other bands in the studio. This kind of life is not really the ideal combination with a normal social life or a relationship. So, I grew apart from my girlfriend. She moved to Amsterdam while I was touring Europe. So, we never really saw each other. All the songs are rooted in this feeling of growing apart”, says Jaspar.
The inviting ‘Night Funeral’, is untainted, styled and groovy pop while ‘Looking Glass’ floats along on a sea of formulated beats, mending breaks and heavy horns. It’s often trippy but always mesmerising, drizzled with a symphony of synths, bongos, pizzicato strings and catchy choruses.
Faces On TV released their first single 'Run Against The Stream', back in 2015, which was immediately picked up by Belgian radio including Studio Brussel and Radio 1. The critically acclaimed ‘Traveling Blind’ EP followed a year later with the song ‘Love/Dead’ reaching over one million plays on Spotify and was one of the most played songs of 2016 on Studio Brussel.
The band have supported dEUS, Yeasayer and Balthazar and have performed at numerous festivals across Europe including Pukkelpop, Xpo North and Eurosonic.
Along with Faces On TV, Jasper is also the brains behind Bazart, Tsar B, Warhola, Warhaus and numerous other Belgian chart-toppers and he has a string of top ten hits behind him. His reputation in his homeland as one of Belgium’s finest musicians has recently led to a documentary film being made about his career and life to date.
Unday Records is an independent record label for authentic music, based in Ghent, Belgium. It is home to Trixie Whitely, Millionaire, Tamino, Intergalatic Lovers, Het Zesde Metaal, Madensuyu and Flying Horseman.