Looking back to The Spectors’ previous two years, things have rocketed from Tales of the Unexpected to Mulholland Drive in terms of sheer unpredictability.
By the end of 2012 Marieke Hutsebaut, the band’s bass-player and songwriter, had recorded a handful of haunting bathroom demos which caught the ear of music publisher Strictly Confidential and veteran indie label [PIAS]. Not to mention hundreds of “early adopters” around the world. Touting her catchy, yet spirited and heartfelt material, she quickly assembled a talented live line-up.
Come 2013, The Spectors had joined forces with a publisher, a label and a booking agent, wowing audiences at established Belgian indie festivals such as Dour, Boomtown and Leffingeleuren. A support slot for My Bloody Valentine proved an early high point in the young band’s career.
A hook-up with Chris Urbanowicz, formerly of Editors, resulted in The Spectors’ first self-titled E.P., released at the beginning of 2014. Nico and Dig, the two singles taken off the E.P., remained in the indie charts (Studio Brussel’s De Afrekening) for a combined 18 weeks. Plenty of airplay, positive critical reaction and, to top it all off, a coveted spot on two best-selling compilation CD’s of the revered indie chart show. Not bad for a debut E.P.!
The ensuing Festival Summer, with appearances all over Belgium saw concert-goers singing along to “Losing touch, like Nico did…”, while their passage at Pukkelpop, arguably thé litmus test for upcoming bands, was hailed by Humo as the “perfect Sugababes/Breeders sandwich”. Deredactie.be, the website of Belgium’s national broadcaster, proved equally impressed, predicting “a spot in the Marquee, or even on the Main Stage in a few years’ time”. On the business side, The Spectors struck a management deal with Gentlemanagement, of Triggerfinger and Selah Sue repute.
Recorded during ten days in November at the La Chapelle Studios in the Ardennes, Light Stays Close alternates between poppy earworms with singalong choruses and relentlessly dark, derailing dirges. Sonic surges slamming into off-the-wall walls of sound.
With Stijn Verdonckt behind the mixing desk and Chris Urbanowicz once again in the producer’s seat, The Spectors laid down ten songs that reflect half a century of pop and rock music without ever losing sight of their own, unique sound and identity. From the sixties vibe of Wrong to the 70’s Krautrock groove of Drone, from early eighties new wave like Green-Eyed Monster to the permeating presence of 90’s shoegaze, Light Stays Close is all about soothing melodies and heavenly harmonies crashing into walls of sound.
What 2015 holds, nobody knows, but Light Stays Close should see The Spectors coming into their own, stepping out from relative obscurity onto center stage and into the limelight. As Marieke makes abundantly clear in the eponymous title track: … and I Won’t Go Away.