Warhaus - the artistic alter ego and solo recording project of Maarten Devoldere - is backing up the release of his debut album (on Play It Again Sam) with a short tour that includes a date in Leeds.
Maarten, who normally shares front man duties in acclaimed rock band Balthazar, has until now kept his Warhaus persona well under the radar. But the rare and fleeting glimpses of Warhaus that Devoldere has offered have hinted at a darkly esoteric lyrical universe, fueled by desire and passion, haunted by the ephemeral, yearning to express the inexpressible.
The debut album fully realises these intimations and probes their depths savagely.
“I love contradictions,” said Devoldere.
“They are musically very appealing to me: Raw vs fundamentally passionate, brutal vs romantic, art vs Kitsch, archaic vs modern”.
Invoking 60s French pop, imbued with a touch of exoticism, influences Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg are never too far away.
“I’m at the end of my twenties now. With this record I close an important period,” declared Devoldere.
“It’s an ode to love, to its excesses and elusiveness. Love songs are a form of advertising: you portray a woman and the listener should fall in love with her too.”
Playing Jane Birkin-esque muse and foil to Devoldere’s post-modern Gainsbourg is Sylvie Kreutsch, who contributes seductive backing vocals throughout.
Catch Warhaus at the Brudenell Social Club, in Leeds, on Monday, October 10. Tickets from: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/warhaus-1