Summer Sounds: Belgian Band Balthazar



Balthazar recently appeared at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn fresh off the release of their new record, “Fever.”


As students, we are always plugged into our phones and listening to what artists have to say. We try to find new sounds and lyrics which resonate, and when we find these sounds we want to share them with the world. Indie pop-rock group Balthazar is one of those diamonds in the rough. The five-piece band consists of Maarten Devoldere, Jinte Deprez, Simon Casier, Michiel Balcaen and Tijs Delbeke. The band was born in 2004 and has been together for nearly a decade, playing all around Europe. Balthazar has about 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and the band describes their music as a “slinky and sultry sunset jam with drama and a funky bustle.” They just released their new 11-track LP called “Fever.

They just ended their U.S. tour in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, playing a sold-out show at Baby’s All Right. Before this gig, The Observer sat down with lead singers Deprez and Devoldere to chat about their musical journey and the creation of “Fever.”

Prior to the U.S. tour and the creation of “Fever,” Deprez and Devoldere explained, “We took a much-needed hiatus and split into our own solo projects, which ultimately helped refresh our sound.”

Devoldere said he created his own solo project called Warhaus which had a jazz-inspired aesthetic and went over well with audiences.. Meanwhile, Deprez had his own success with his solo project, J. Bernardt, which is inspired by old-school R&B. Deprez and Devoldere added that the other members of the band also went on their own musical and personal endeavors during the break.

Together they agreed that “ultimately, the break broadened their artistic horizons and as a band they feel coming back together their music has become much more cohesive and evolved into a much more playful sound. Fever is a combination of the genres we all had explored separately. This break allowed us to be more experimental and help our sound mature.”

When asked what the next step is after having much success playing big venues in Europe, Jinte said they want to tour more of North America and Central America, specifically Mexico. They hope to come back, make more waves in the United States and perform for more U.S. audiences.

Listening to the band play live was an exhilarating experience. The venue was packed wall-to-wall with people from all walks of life speaking in different languages raving about “Fever.” The hype in the room was something special.

As soon as the lights went down and Balthazar started to play, the crowds began to go crazy. The lead singers, Deprez and Devoldere, made the audience sway with their velvety vocals, sumptuous Arctic-Monkey-like sound and infectious, bass-driven tracks. The backing vocals of “I’m Never Gonna Let You Down Again” created this call-and-response effect and accentuated the main vocals. The instrumentals, specifically the guitar riffs, were similar to those in “Hotel California” by the Eagles. When they played “Entertainment,” a livelier, funky track off of the new EP,  the energy in the room electrified and people began to dance around to Deprez’s smooth and soulful vocals and the violins which intensified and enhanced the performance.

Balthazar’s overall performance at Baby’s All Right was captivating because their lyrics are relatable and they give off this cool, moody, laid-back vibe that is eccentric yet free-spirited. No one can really pinpoint their music to just one genre or one sound because the band is a conglomeration of multiple. Their experimental nature makes their music a crazy, beautiful mess that’s refreshing to listen to online and live. The future is certainly bright for this Belgian band. There’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing Balthazar one day play festival season in the United States; it’s only a matter of time.