Balthazar’s last album, 2015’s Thin Walls, was of the sort of worthy post-indie vein which seems to have fallen out of fashion: always keenly pop but struggling for a new mark to hit, the Belgian quintet then went on an unofficial hiatus after it’s release, looking for new sources of inspiration.
For the group’s creative fulcrum – duo Maarten Devoldre and Jinte Deprez – this meant solo projects, the former as Warhaus, whilst the latter produced some well received, skeletal r&b on Running Days under the pseudonym of J Bernardt.
Anyone running scared of Fever being an awkward mash up of the two can feel reassured that the influences are locked deeper under it’s surface than that. Instead the quintet have produced a new direction with nods to smart, modern soul, eighties mainstream and swish, cocktail rock.
At it’s best – on the title track and with the funk laden swing of I’m Never Gonna Let You Down Again recalling the urbane sophistication of Phoenix, Fever is a product of re-energised songwriters not afraid to love something and set it free, just to find out if it will ever come back.
You can read the full review here.