A compilation of the country’s most iconic female voices in this week’s selection of stellar Belgian tracks.
1.Honeymoon Killers – Laisse tomber les filles (Les Tueurs de la Lune de Miel, 1982, Crammed Discs)
Aksak Maboul’s front lady Véronique Vincent joined Honeymoon Killers for their second studio album in 1982, immediately causing a craze all over Europe with her airy, light, somewhat tragic and always ferocious voice.
2. Carol – So Low (Breakdown/So Low, 1981, reissued in 2016 on Weyrd Son Records)
Composed by Snowy Red’s Miky Mike, this track with hazy minimal synths and Carol’s haunting soft voice turn this 7″ into a cult classic that had a recent reissue on Weyrd Son Records, yet was hopelessly sold out in no time.
3. Elisa Waut – Russia (Self-released on cassette in 1982)
Elisa Waut, a three-piece originating from Bruges, was fronted by singer Elsje and her remarkably sensual voice. After releasing their first cassette, the band went on to win the Humo’s Rock Rally in 1984, a time when Belgium was having a peak moment in pop music. Their track ‘Russia’ was later re-released in 2006 on The Lost Tapes, a compilation by Walhalla records’ Lieven De Ridder, a cassette featured on the wish list of many new wave devotees around the globe.
4. Pierre Normal – Lithium (Pierre Normal, 2007, Pneu)
A haunting and distant cold wave version of Nirvana’s Lithium by French-Belgian band Pierre Normal. Their eponymous album, released in 2007, effortlessly combines dark, atmospheric electronica with modern French chanson and makes for a remarkable listening experience.
5. Lio – Banana Split (Banana Split, 1979, Ariola)
80’s pop icon with a voice sweet as sugar. For her first single, Banana Split, she worked with Telex’ Marc Moulin, and sold almost a million copies. “Baisers givrés sur les montagnes blanches / On dirait que les choses se déclenchent / La chantilly s’écroule en avalanche”, to say that the track’s lyrics carry a serious double entendre is putting it lightly, but none of that seemed to bother 16-year old Lio at the time.
6. Anna Domino – With the day comes the dawn (East and West, 1984, Les Disques du Crépuscule)
Anna Domino’s track “With the day comes the dawn” combines deep, sensual vocals with sweeping downtempo synths. The Japan-born artist spent time in Brussels during the 80’s, releasing her most notable work on visionary Belgian imprint Les Disques du Crépuscule.
7. Cocaine Piss – Pigeon (The Pool, 2015, 12″ om Hypertension Records, tapes on In Dogs We Trust Records)
Cocaine Piss’ Aurélie screams, kicks, and never disappoints. Pigeon, the first track on The Pool, bursts with energy and hits you hard, every time.
8. Vive la Fête – Touche pas (Nuit Blanche, 2003, Surprise Records)
Ghent-based duo Vive la Fête needs no introduction. Mostly known for their new-wave influenced electropop and singer Els Pynoo’s outrageous performances, they quickly reached cult status in the country. Their 2003 album Nuit Blanche still sounds relevant almost 15 years after its initial release, with the track Touche Pas being a timeless classic.