For a small country, Belgium has produced tons of quality music over the past century, or maybe even centuries. Bands like dEUS, Praga Khan, Ancient Rites, Front 242 and Hooverphonic have been dominating stages all over the world. We even were the inventors of a whole genre. New Beat has been one of our most succesful export products. Remembering this, you need to be aware that there's actually two parts of Belgium. One speaks Dutch, the other French and in most ways these two parts barely communicate with each other. The bands mentioned earlier are all Flemish, but our Walloon friends have an enourmous amount of talent as well. Cecilia::Eyes is (or at least should be) on the verge of a huge break-through, PPZ30 were the Belgian Red Hot Chili Peppers (but better) and who could forget about our absolute number one, Sœur Sourire. See, we're a very versatile country. If only we could unite properly, dammit.
Enough about politics. We're here to review the debut album by David Lund, a bass player and composer who gained fame in bands such as Audiograve, Upland or NOX. 'Ever' has become an album filled with themes from personal experiences and observations. There is a lot of emotion in this album, sometimes it's like you can hear a teardrop fall down between the minimalistic notes. The minimalistic approach does the album a lot of good. From one standpoint you can compare the music to bands like Coldplay or Radiohead but without the overwhelming extra arrangements. This makes 'Ever' a very enjoyable album and (in my humble opinion) a lot better than Coldplay and Radiohead and a bit more experimental. Often Lund indulges himself into some post-rock and combines it with jazz (or even dark jazz), like on title track 'Ever'.
David Lund is definately a bassplayer. This instrument has a very prominent place on 'Ever', not as much as Steve Lawson but somehow comparable. Other instruments have their own place but their function seems to be solely to improve the story. Lund is also an excellent songwriter. He tells stories about a homeless man ("Head on the pillow"), a single mother of five, trying to feed her children ("Price of bread"), the unhealty predominance of electronica in human relationships ("Staring at windows") and so on. These songs are beautiful and passionate, even more so with their raw, live sounding atmosphere. One of my favorites on this album, "Fruit" is a jazzy pop ballad with several arrangements but I'm sure this song can easily survive a naked approach with only Lund playing bass and singing.
The same goes for most of the songs. These are strange but beautiful ballads that could have the exact same intensity with a full band on stage as with a single street-musician on a busy shopping street. Maybe this introvert character of the music has a lot to do with Lund's voice. He is not the best vocalist in the world but he knows how to put emotion in his lyrics and voice into his music. In fact, nothing on this album is perfect, at least not from a commercial view. But the blend of all these imperfections is quite stunning and gives 'Ever' a lot of credibility. The album is available now on bandcamp and Depot214. I suggest you give it a listen. You'll be pleasantly surprise just like I was.