Benjamin Schoos might well be releasing the Francophile album of the year!
If you’ve ever walked through a town or city, after dark you realise how still everything is. Normally busy thoroughfares, streets and boulevards are eerily empty. On these nocturnal sojourns, if you bump into anyone it comes as a shock. In a weird roundabout way, this is what Belgium’s Benjamin Schoos’ new material feels like. After enjoying the solitude of a late night promenaded, you are now joined by a stranger and now together you’re enjoying something special.
Belgium’s Schoos use of stark instrumentation means that there is a level of poignancy to the music. At times it’s just Schoos’ voice and a piano, or strings. This brings to mind Benjamin Biolay’s work form the early 2000’s. It’s haunting, but the immediacy of the vocal performance keeps you listening and your jaw on the floor. There is an eloquence to the vocal performance too. Lyrics like “You say you dream of being, The scale, My I love you, From the lives of two, your poem, Love is so seen” isn’t just poetic, or gorgeous, but delicately alluring! This might be down to the juxtaposition between slightly gruff vocals and luscious piano and strings. It could be called neo-chanson, but that would be too lazy, but whatever it is, Schoos is touching on something glorious and elegant.
Schoos third album, Night Music, Love Songs, will be released on 29th January. Given the strength of I Love You, this looks set to be a high water mark for Francophile music this year!