- Expected release
- 23 February 2024
Black vinyl + poster + 12p booklet
Mixed By Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts, Weezer, Temples, …)
Following the dark, expansive power of 2018’s Image and 2021’s minimal Several Others, Whispering Sons’ third album ‘The Great Calm’ represents a reimagining and rethinking, though this growth has produced a series of songs that are still defiantly and uniquely true to the group. With bass player and producer Bert Vliegen’s credentials to call on, rather than give the band musical sketches to be fleshed out later as he did previously, guitarist Kobe Lijnen was able to provide more fully formed pictures of his potential new songs.
“Before, the songs were finished in my head but not in a way the group could grasp the full meaning of the idea,” explains the guitarist. “This time Bert and I worked on the demos for a couple of months before we sent them to the rest of the band. Then Fenne could start writing lyrics.” A native Flemish/Dutch speaker (“although speaking isn’t my forte,” she suggests bashfully), a study of literature at university led Kuppens to adopt English as her songwriting tongue. “I'm not really a writer, per se, I find the idea of getting your thoughts onto paper really hard,” she confesses. “It can be a big struggle for me, but I start writing when I’ve got a deadline or something I have to do like a song, so I only write for the band really.”
Yet ‘The Great Calm’ proved not quite to be the expected “struggle”. With Lijnen’s more formed demos offering a strong vision for the album’s sound (“I wanted to include more guitar on the record again, more energetic guitar,” he notes. “On the second record we stripped down the gothic atmosphere of the first album but in doing that, I think it was maybe too minimalistic”) his songwriting partner found herself immediately connected to the music.
"It was really good to have these demos in a more mature form because it created an atmospheric whole, so it was easier for me to write lyrics,” Kuppens reveals. “I knew what Kobe’s songs were about straightaway, so the themes of my lyrics really clicked into the vibe of the music. Recorded in four weeks – two in the Audioworkx studio near Eindhoven, Holland, before being finished at the start of 2023 using a homemade set-up on Vlieland, a small Dutch island just off the North Sea coast – the power, energy and beauty behind The Great Calm’s making is etched through the heart of each of its 12 songs.