Balthazar - 'Sand'

7/10

Ever since they released their debut album 'Applause' back in 2010, Belgian outfit Balthazar have always looked to bring something different and more inventive to the fledgling indie-pop sound. While their contemporaries seem to copy each other in this infinite loop of inspiration, Balthazar have always been ones to search far and wide for their sound, culminating in a direction that remains fresh and interesting throughout. And now they return with their fifth full-length 'Sand', a record that sees them continue this bold and adventurous direction.

From the very start, 'Sand' sees itself much in the same vein as their previous collection 'Fever'. While not in pursuit of big hooks and instantly catchy energy, they instead look to seduce us with this warm and inviting aesthetic to create a smooth and engaging sound. Landing somewhere between the styles of Alt-J and Foster The People, their newest release is this strong and reassured groove that is all about building on their past material. Forever finding new ways to keep it relevant while never looking to lose the flair and fire they have always managed to produce.

While it is not their most instantly impactful offering to date, 'Sand' does have this incredibly enticing texture to it, showing that their attention to detail is never out of their minds. A strong return from a band that have rarely put a foot wrong for more than a decade.

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