Glauque: The spotlight on a group that 'soars'
Translation by:Shona Brennan
Only a few months after the release of their first title "Robot," Glauque already have a new hit music video—"Plane" (soar), which generates a 90s vibe. The newly formed group of five Belgians are now preparing to play at some of the biggest French language festivals. We met up with them, right before their performance at Couleur Café.
We had to wait for their success to discover the true colour of the North Sea. Everyone thinks that it's grey. But for them, it is "glauque", a green-grey colour. "We chose this name to show that lyrics or instrumentals that are raw can also have a hidden depth, like glauque," explains Aaron , "the child of the group." He is a 21-year-old political science student at the University of Namur in Belgium . Down-to-earth and clean-cut, he joined Glauque via his friend, Louis , the rapper. Louis is one of the most glauque of the group.
"We formed our group in September 2017, that's two years ago already. I'd been writing rap lyrics for a few years and was looking for someone to create some beats, so we could make music, " explains Louis. Straightaway, he turned to his older brother, Lucas , a classical musician at the Namur conservatory. "I asked him if he wanted to do rap with me but he said no (laughs). And he put me in contact with one of his friends, Aadriejan , who was also at the conservatory. That's how the two of us started the group. Months went by and Lucas ended up changing his mind, becoming the eldest of the group at 28 years old. He's even brought his roommate Baptiste , also from the conservatory, into the group. Aaron brings a second voice to the table and helps with writing lyrics.
Between their two smiles and little jokes, his bond with Louis is obvious. "We even sleep in the same bed," jokes Louis, showing us the spirit of Glauque. "We were not brought together by our music groups, but really by the bond we had." An urban-classical mix straight from Wallonia .
Rap with atmospheric melodies
"Dear diary, I've had some intimate relationships since last time, you were behind me, a small voice ordering me to make the wrong choices." These are the words of "Robot," Glauque's" first official title. Louis's deep voice is accompanied by a vibrating electro arrangement as he raps about a young man who is into alcohol and prostitution. Their second title "Plane" evokes another dimension, one that is more hopeful for lost young people."I think it's a state in which we can all find ourselves. And that's what interests me when I listen to chansons à textes," (a genre of poetic songs) says Louis. "I never wanted to speak for a generation. I am not trying to make a societal or generational statement. I don't want to become someone who tells other people what to do."
Their lyrical musical arrangements plunge us into the musical universe of Glauque, which is made from poetry and a gloomy mood. With each member coming from a different musical background, their creative process is fragmented, not to say "a big damn mess" as Louis and Aaron have fun explaining. "Sometimes someone comes with something that is all done. Sometimes someone arrives with a beat that will act as a skeleton and is then built on from there; or sometimes it really is a group creation." A melting pot of musical influences, which consist of jerky rhythms and intoxicating atmospheric melodies.
"I never wanted to speak for a generation"
While their musical identity is strong, the group are still in search of a visual identity, which is something they are passionate about. "With "Plane", we really took our time, wanting to nuance the music itself with the help of imagery," explains Aaron. Developing as a band today is about creating a visual identity and having an Instagram presence. This is the reason why the group decided to "start from scratch" by removing all content from their official account since the release of the video. This was to clarify its visual universe, which consists of drone shots, tinged with mauve and desert landscapes.
With their own sound and rapid success at such a young age, we could see an emerging band à la Fauve. A comparison which is both flattering and vexing for Louis. "Fauve was one of the first groups who were perhaps not very modest in their way of making music and exposing their feelings, and that is perhaps something we have in common—the very raw side of their lyrics and songs. But I must admit that I am not at all a fan or fond of what they do as much musically, as in the lyrics. "
"I don't want to live off music"
Despite having freshly entered the world of music and popularity, Glauque do not want it. Living off their music is not part of the group's plans for now. "It's really not a goal, and we are far from it. Especially now that we're starting to discover this world, which is totally unknown when you begin music. It's not an environment that is super healthy and it can make you go crazy quickly. "
Even though they do not define themselves by their success, Glauque nevertheless seems to have a good amount of it. After emerging in the Belgian music scene, they've already crossed borders. Glauque are touring the biggest French-language festivals this summer-Dour in Belgium, Cabaret Vert in France and Sonic Vision in Luxembourg , to name just three.
As for appearing on stage at Colour Café, the group is scheduled at the same time as Lauryn Hill , the international star that will close the festival. An already loyal audience gathers for their performance. And Glauque seem to be aware of it. The members of the group are all very comfortable, taking up all the space. They give off an energy and dynamism that contrasts with their assumed stress, two hours before going on stage: "There are always these waiting phases that are horribly stressful," admits Louis. This is a promising start for a band that, until two months ago, had never played at a festival. With their new title "Plane," the audience jumps in rhythm to words they already know. While Glauque does not tell the audience that they have a first album in the works yet, they say it will certainly be ready for next year's festival.
Although they want to keep their heads on their shoulders, this doesn't stop them from dreaming."What's happening to us is totally crazy. So yes, exactly, things are 'soaring!' ".
Photo Credit : © Marie Périlleux
Translated from Glauque : lumière sur un groupe qui plane