And they spoke in Anthems

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And they spoke in anthems (BE), is the band of fulltime melancholic Arne Leurentop, a Belgian singer-songwroter who gained much acclaim with his debut-LP ‘June’. Belgian newspapers – De Standaard, De Morgen en RifRaf – praised the album: “For now: the best Belgian record around”, “Nice debut” and “Wonderful, this colourful, beautifully layered album.”

Leurentop’s Anthems also received a lot of airplay: no less than 4 singles were played by Radio 1; he played more than hundred concerts in Belgium (AB, Dranouter, Vooruit, De Roma, Handelsbeurs Gent, OLT, Muziekodroom…) and abroad (Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, …).

Today, 5-years-later, Leurentop has a new record ready. Finally! It’s called ‘Money Time’.

Both the title and its meaning (implying nowness!, and action!) juxtapose the amount of time Leurentop needed to finish the album. But why did it take him so long? For a while, he thought it fit to come up with a fantastic story about why it had taken him so much time to release ‘Money Time’. Fake news is all around, so a fake story would have served him well. What about a row with an Icelandic producer? Or the fact that the chalet where he recorded his album burnt down? Could have been true, but the reality is a little less dramatic.

Leurentop is a perfectionist. He took all the time he needed to write this album. There was no hurry, and he wanted to write, record and polish his songs until he felt that his brain and gut were in perfect harmony. And with an ever-changing world, there is a lot to talk about. The world moves faster than the brain can process. According to Leurentop, the world is in a bad shape: we have long passed the point of no return, yet we pretend like everything is just fine. Some lyrics? ‘It’s 55 past 11, the future is the aftertaste’/’let’s get the hell out paradise, the soul of man never dies’/’Money Time, bring on the tar and feathers, Money Time, we’ll beat the night together.’

Musically ‘Money Time’ is a little darker than its predecessor ‘June’. ‘Discobar Leurentop Senior’s influences are still there (the Beatle-esque arrangement of ‘Money Time’, the Dylan indebted lyrics in ‘Hollow Parade’, the high Orbison-note in ‘Always Alone’) … On ‘Money Time’ Leurentop finds himself in (good) melancholic company: Daniel Norgren, Damien Jurado, Jeff Tweedy, Leslie Feist, Villagers, …

Leurentop called upon some musical friends to turn this record into a piece of gloomy-art: Karel De Backer (drums), Jasper Hautekiet (bass), Sam Vloemans (trumpet) and Pieter-Jan De Smet; the record was produced by Jan Chantrain (who also played an important part in the making of Douglas Firs’ ‘Hinges of Luck’, Ertebrekers’ ‘Otel’ or The Antler King’s ‘Ten for a Bird’), all of whom turn ‘Money Time’ into a sparkling, compelling album, sometimes groovy, sometimes – deliberately – not. One thing is sure: it’s a very moody and atmospheric album.

Until now Leurentop has always been a solo-artist, live. This changes. He does not want to repeat what he has done before and it takes more than one musician to deliver the record’s complexity on stage. He will find himself supported by Maarten Flamand (The Antler King, Elefant) on guitars and bass-pedals and Jan Dhaenee (Ansatz der Machine) on drums and keys.

Muzikaal parkeert Money Time zich in een donkerder steegje dan voorganger June. De invloeden van ‘Discobar Leurentop Senior’ blijven aanwezig (Het Beatle-esque arrangement van ‘Money Time’, de aan Dylan schatplichtige tekstuele kronkels uit ‘Hollow Parade’, de poging om in ‘Always Alone’ Roy Orbisons hoge noot te kraken,…). Maar dit keer staan er ook meer van Leurentops actuele droefgeestige helden aan de zijlijn: Daniel Norgren, Damien Jurado, Jeff Tweedy, Leslie Feist, Villagers,…

Gastbrijdages van o.a. Karel De Backer, Jasper Hautekiet, Sam Vloemans en Pieter-Jan De Smet en de signatuur van producer Jan Chantrain (ook fine-tuner bij onder andere Douglas Firs’ Hinges of Luck, Ertebrekers’ Otel en The Antler King’s Ten for a Bird) maken Money Time tot wat het is: een sprankelend, (mee)slepend plaatje dat soms groovet, en soms opzettelijk niet, met teksten die ertoe doen, openbloeiende refreinen en meer sferen dan er manen rond Jupiter zijn.

Tot op heden was And They Spoke in Anthems live een one-man-band. Daar komt nu verandering in. Omdat Leurentop er als de dood voor is zichzelf te herhalen. En omdat het geluid op Money Time eenvoudigweg complexer is dan op June. Leurentop krijgt bij showtime ruggensteun van Maarten Flamand (The Antler King / Elefant) op snaren en pedalen, en Jan Dhaene (Ansatz Der Machine) op drums en toetsen.
Maar zelfs in trio klinkt And They Spoke in Anthems heel anders dan op plaat. Uitgebeend, en toch rijk van sound. Leurentop brengt deze nieuwe jasjes met een gulle portie zelfrelativering aan de man. Dat kan u in de nabije toekomst zelf gaan verifiëren in een concertzaal in uw buurt.




Huis Mortier Records / N.E.W.S.(2019)
Huis Mortier Records / N.E.W.S.(2014)