6pp digisleeve + 3 bonus tracksRead More
320 kbps, LAME-encoded
Alps. is a 6-piece from Antwerp writing delightfully warm and melancholic pop songs. Singer and songwriter Jesse de Belder has a rusty and sobbing voice and blends beautifully with his sweet-voiced sister Maja. In addition to the classic guitar, bass and drums line up, Alps. stands out because of Wannes Minne's trumpet. It cuts and anoints and gives the songs just that little bit more color.
Alps. debuted in 2018 with the single "Unfold" and proved to have a nose for fragile and lingering pop music with "Filastin" (2019) and "Will You Run" (2020). With the release of a first untitled EP, the band is ready to step out of the shadows.
Opening track "Want You Now" comes in tiptoeing, but synths and guitars soon kick in. "Do you believe in love the way that I believe in others", Jesse sings. "Love can sometimes be selfish", the singer clarifies, "and therefore sometimes suffocating. I wrote the song in my sleep. I woke up with it in the middle of the night, put myself behind the piano and suddenly it was there." For the arrangement, the band took inspiration from film music. "Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar, how he makes wind and space sound, we found that very impressive. With the guitar and synth parts, we're trying to create that same sense of space and movement." The more electronic-sounding 'Eight.Point.Nine' plays with that same dynamic of space and sound. 'Never Alone' also seeks symbiosis between slow and lingering guitars and electronic rhythms. In 'Satisfied' the guitars are allowed to reverberate The Edge-style towards the stratosphere. The single 'Horizon 2022' is a driving indie pop single with a wall-to-wall chorus, in which Alps. plays all its trump cards. Guitars duel with jittery drums, brother and sister Jesse and Maja De Belder alternate vocals and trumpeter Wannes Minne lifts the song to a solid climax. Finally, 'Close Me In' is small and fragile with just piano and vocals and closes this 6 song ep particularly beautifully.
Thomas Valkiers (Xink, The Haunted Youth, Meltheads, Hi High) signed for production and mix and gives the songs space, lets them breathe and makes them sultry and hypnotic where necessary. 'Alps.' is a punishing calling card from a band that has something to say. Listen and get carried away.