With this new “Bittersweet” full length release, electronica / trip-pop act PSY’AVIAH invites us to the conceptual finale of the introspective trilogy that the Belgian artist initiated with the previous “Lightflare” and “Soul Searching” albums. An open-heart and highly personal journey progressing from a desperate cry for help through self-reflection to eventually reach this endpoint where the time has come to act and face and embrace life’s good and bad moments while humbly accepting our vulnerability and difference.
On these 13 new songs, Yves Schelpe is taking us sonically one step further in his songwriting approach: giving more room to vocalists with harmonies and setting storytelling to high hitting notes, while also widening the place to live instruments in the production – that create a warm, lush and dynamic sound grandeur – thanks amongst others to Irina Markevich on violin and Polina Faustova on cello.
If special care was also given to searching for new vocalists to hit new ways of storytelling in this more up-tempo pop-driven album, we also have some highly praised returning collaborations. Like Addie Nicole of HALOCENE, who portrays a very punk-electro vibe with “Tired”; or yet Mari Kattman of HELIX with immense emotion and high notes on the up-tempo dub/jungle track “Can We Make It Rhyme”. PSY’AVIAH’s live vocalist Marieke Lightband continues showing of her soulful vocal skills on “My Secrets”, while Prof. Dr. Dirk De Wachter sets the mood once again with his spoken words on the poetic ambient introduction “Rainy Repertoire”.
“Bittersweet” plays with contrasts and hovers between up-tempo electric pop tunes like “The Wildness In Me”, “The Book Of Life”, “Turn Up The Stereo”, the addictive “Sunbird” or yet the poignant “Pretender”, and more laid-back melancholic pieces like “Cold Summer Nights”, “Healing” and “Can We Make It Rhyme” for instance. The band’s fans will also notice totally revamped versions of the classic PSY’AVIAH songs “Tired” and the mega hit “OK” that both relate to the trilogy’s hard topics (burnout, depression, loneliness, addiction…) and highlighting the importance of reflection and seeing things from the other side…
And that’s not all folks! To celebrate PSY’AVIAH’s 20th anniversary, the first edition of the album will be released as a limited double-CD digipak holding the exclusive 15-track CD “Rediscovered (20th Anniversary)” plus a download link to 12 extra additional songs, with as unique concept here that an eclectic selection of artists wrote their own cover version (music & voice) of one of PSY’AVIAH’s numerous hit songs, or made an all new collaboration with Yves Schelpe in a full redesign of the original track. The result is simply breathtaking, bringing us all over the place from synth pop to goth rock, from ethereal wave to EBM, for a stunning collection of songs with a heartfelt message and a sharp sense of melody. Joining that original birthday party are bands like THE BREATH OF LIFE, IMPLANT, AESTHETISCHE, 808.DOT.POP, LEAETHER STRIP, YOUR LIFE ON HOLD, DIGITAL FACTOR, IC 434, LLUMEN, MADIL HARDIS and many more! Respect!
Is everything going OK on these bittersweet days?
Just listen to the rain, it can’t always be sunshine!
But do remember that in pain there’s strength to be found…