Balthazar have shared new track “On A Roll” ahead of their forthcoming album Sand, now slated for release on February 26th via Play It Again Sam. Balthazar writing and frontman partnership Jinte Deprez explains: “The song and video is about the repetitive lack of control you have on situations, your life, your own ways. Even for a moment when you think you can escape your own loop, you find yourself right back at the start again, finding out the changes didn’t change the outcome, or you.”
Led by Deprez and Maarten Devoldere who unite both on writing duties and as frontmen, Balthazar continue to satisfy their thirst for the less rigid parameters that resulted while working on 2018’s Fever. Refining their approach to writing, the subsequent recording and following their own solo excursions Jinte, under the nom de plume J.Bernardt with his R&B infused Running Days and Maaarten with the louche, torch song influenced Warhaus – the fluidity and uninhibited process provided an alternative and altogether less restrictive blueprint. One that was undoubtedly aided by their own solo projects.
As Maarten comments; “we did a lot of things that we haven’t done previously – we’ve never used as many drum samples or used bass synths before. So that was an exciting step for us.” Jinte interjects; “it was a very modern way of making an album, due to the constraints of the pandemic and we had to work remotely and converse electronically rather than in a studio.”
The album’s artwork features a piece by renowned Dutch sculptor Margriet Van Breevort who specializes in hyper-realistic sculptures. This was originally commissioned by a medical centre in Holland and is one of many that are synonymous with the artist. Entitled Humunculus Loxodontus aka The One Who Waits, representing as Maarten explains; “the way you feel when in a waiting room, obliged to wait and feeling self-conscious and awkward. The more we researched it the more it fitted the idea of the album.” A surreal and somewhat alienating image – difficult to pin down, much like the trademark cinematic instrumentation, pop energy and melodies that inhabit the musical world of Balthazar.
As they conclude: “there’s a theme running through these tracks, waiting, restlessness, not being able to live in the moment or putting your trust into the future. We’re at a point in our lives when we have to consider these aspects of life, that’s why the album is called Sand – after the sand in an hourglass.”
Play It Again Sam
3. On A Roll
4. I Want You
5. You Won’t Come Around
6. Linger On
8. Passing Through
9. Leaving Antwerp
pre-order Sand by Balthazar here