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Warhaus Explores The Inscrutable with Debut Album

We Fucked A Flame Into Being sounds like the name of some modern abstract-expressionist painting. Well, it’s not. It’s actually a quote from the novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover by British writer D.H. Lawrence. But it’s also the title of the new album recently released by Warhaus. Who is Warhaus? Just the new solo recording project of musician Maarten Devoldere, a longtime member of Belgian indie rock band Balthazar. With his solo debut, Devoldere invites listeners on a somber journey through the valleys of love, desire, yearning, lost youth, and disillusionment.

Warhaus Displays A Suave Style and Entrancing Melodies

The album’s opener “I’m Not Him” is darkly soulful. Springy, groove-laden bass riffs and low-pitched, distorted guitar lines roll on top of clacking, percussive beats. At the same time, ringing piano chords and euphonious howls help fill the song with brooding noise. Joining them are Devoldere’s grave yet suave vocals which further augments this track’s plangent tone. After the 2:55 mark, a pause occurs to which Devoldere cleverly replies, “Who said you could stop?”. The song quickly resumes with sensuous female vocals crooning in the background. It then creeps along until it reaches its shadowy conclusion.

The next track “The Good Lie” opens with echoing, sonorous drumbeats and ambient noise. Then, a walking bassline emerges and slithers alongside the deep, haunting vocals of Devoldere and his mysterious vocal accomplice. They give the song an eerie yet desirable mood. Also worth noting are the layers of nebulous synth sounds scattered throughout the piece. As it progresses forward, sharp, jagged guitar lines intersect and interrupt its sepulchral calm. Later, it culminates with a sullen fade-out.

“Memory” seemingly takes a page from ’60s-style mod rockers. Twangy, strumming guitar riffs get things started. They are soon accompanied by ringing drumbeats, maracas, and throbbing bass riffs. Meanwhile, Devoldere delivers deadpan, nonchalant vocals with a laid-back composure resemblant of legendary musician Lou Reed. Plus, they add a touch of classic swagger to this track. Past the 2:05 mark, a gruff, swishing guitar solo emerges. After it subsides, the song saunters along then fades away.

Lastly, there’s the salacious standout “Bruxelles.” Temperate drumbeats and cymbal taps mix with a slow, strolling bass line to produce a firm, steady rhythm. Soft, hazy guitar riffs glide listlessly between these two elements. Juxtaposed to them are intermittent violin flourishes and reverberant piano chords that liven up the song. Against this austere soundscape, stygian vocals flow and linger with a dark timbre. The lyrics have a certain heaviness attached to them, too. Lines such as “Lay yourself open without any fear / Surrender your imagination to me, my dear” ponder the amorous subtleties of lust and desire. The song then closes with a softening decrescendo.

On their debut album, We Fucked A Flame Into Being, Warhaus examines the moments of intensity and vexing decadence life rarely offers.

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