New Album Big Sparks Out Now Via [PIAS]
In Irish slang, when you go grocery shopping it is called ‘going for the messages’. However, if you just need to pick up a couple of things, you’d be ‘going for a few bits’. What this has to do with Belgium dream pop band Few Bits is anyone’s guess. What I can tell you is that they’ve just released their second album Big Sparks, and it is a peach. Playing a crisp and warm brand of dream pop, the group have confidently opened up their sound on this release, resulting in a more accomplished and bigger sounding result.
We spoke with singer and song writer with the group Karolien Van Ransbeeck recently about the inspiration behind recent track ‘Sweet Warrior’, the new record, and what it is like to get compared to classic bands.
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Overblown: Your new album Big Sparks was released last month. How did your approach to writing and recording this album change from your first album?
Karolien Van Ransbeeck: The songs on our previous album sound more fragile and slightly darker. The new album Big Sparks is a bit sunnier. The songs for this album were written in a period in which I was trying to keep my head up after a failed relationship, longing for a new chapter in my life. That’s why, in general, this album has a positive and uplifting vibe to it.
As for the recordings, Big Sparks has more a live feel to it, our first album was more constructed, we did more overdubs on that one, although Big Sparks has a fuller live sound. Both of the albums were recorded in The Ardennes but the first one was recorded in wintertime and this one was recorded in summer. I like summer recordings better, it’s good to have a sunbath during a break.
O: I think my favourite song I’ve heard from the new album is ‘Sweet Warrior’. What inspired that song?
KVR: Thanks! It’s actually about a holiday romance. Four years ago I went on a summer holiday to the island Fuerteventura, I fell in love with a Brazilian man with blue eyes who was working on the beach making sandcastle art . He had no house, he was living in a tent by the sea. Very romantic. After living with him for three weeks I came back home, I was lovesick and wrote ‘Sweet Warrior’. 🙂
O: You toured the UK with the Lemonheads. Evan Dando is one of the most underrated songwriters of his generation in my opinion. What do you think?
KVR: I remember the first time I heard the Lemonheads on the radio. I was only 11 or so. I think it was ‘Into Your Arms’, I thought they sounded great. Evan Dando wrote a lot of great pop songs and I hope he’ll write again soon. He has this side project going on called The Sandwich Police, you should check it out.
O: This summer you played SXSW, Canadian Music Week, The Great Escape and Pukkelpop. Could you pick a favourite moment from those gigs?
KVR: We had a great time playing on all these festivals. Going to Texas with the whole band was incredibly fun. We stayed in a highway motel and drank a lot of margaritas. Canada was fun as well, and off course we went to see the Niagara Falls.. impressive!
O: The cover of your new album features a picture of a young girl with what appears to be war paint on her face. What inspired the artwork and who created it?
KVR: In my opinion the record explores the space between vulnerability and strength, two qualities that are embodied in this photo. The picture is taken by a friend of ours and Steven Holsbeeks, one of our guitar players, did the artwork.
O: Few Bits has been compared with everyone from Beach House to the Cure to Fleetwood Mac. How do you feel about these comparisons?
KVR: I think it’s interesting. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. Luckily we always get compared with artist I like so it feels like a compliment.
O: What was your goal when you started Few Bits?
KVR: Since a young age I felt the urge of expressing myself in lyrics and on guitar. I wanted to start a band to make good music and express myself even better. I feel grateful to have such a wonderful band.
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