I discovered CLAIRVAL through friends of mine of the Facebook group BMA (Belgium Music Addicts), and I was instantly in love with the combination of intricate songwriting they had – taking their time, a slow pace to build up momentum and atmosphere. I was blown away by their cover of U2’s ‘Where the streets have no name’: six minutes long, but it grabbed my attention from beginning to end. The pacing, sound design and beautiful vocals of Annelies Tanghe really made me follow them more closely, and as such, I couldn’t resist asking them for this project! Below is a talk about the project, and their awesome version of our original song “No More Heroes”.
CLAIRVAL though isn’t really a band, but more of a ‘nom de plume’ for music Sam Pieter Janssens composes for film and television. Annelies Tanghe on the other hand is also no stranger in the music scene, having worked with names & bands like Nagelbijter, Milow, Anton Walgrave, Allan Muller, Tom Helsen, JFJ, Aroma Di Amore, Iet Me Ziel (Leuvense liedjes), St Soleil, VRT big band, Liliane Saint-Pierre, SJ Hoffman, Ronny Mosuse, Koen Gisen, An Pierlé, Jean-Marie Aerts and also a composer in her own right by making the music for a production Hilde Goyens dance studio: “Life in the City”. The two are no strangers to each other, as they both are in the band “And Then Came Fall” which as they describe it themselves: “a soul-full band that sounds like a melancholic autumn trip. Songs about love and life.”
“What drew you to pick the song ‘No More Heroes’? And were there any other options on the table you were thinking about?”
Sam: It was the song that I was attracted to the most, because of the groove and the cinematic feel. It has a trip hop kinda vibe. I really love bands like Massive Attack and Portishead. The vocal lines are really pulling you in as a listener. Great track overall!
“What did you think of the project’s aim, to let bands be themselves instead of yet another remix?”
Sam: I love doing covers! Because, as you say, it is an opportunity to let you ‘be yourself’. The listener may recognize the original, while you really put something of yourself in the arrangement. It’s a great way to reach out to a new audience, and it gets to know you through the work of another artist… how cool is that?
“What I love about your sound is atmosphere – the use of pads, and intricate layered parts that gradually build up toward a grand sound. I don’t even know what kind of genre I would label you, and to me that is a good thing! So, In what way did you go about making the song sound like ‘CLAIRVAL’?”
Sam: I wanted to work with the original tempo, the groove is just so nice! I’ve created some new layers, textures, that are more CLAIRVAL -like, I guess. I felt like I would try and integrate some ‘organic’ sounds to the track: piano notes, real bass, cool snare drum samples, etc… To give it a more band-like feel.
Yves Schelpe (Psy’Aviah): Indeed, I noticed a lot of real instruments in the version you made, which I instantly loved. The flute, the bass, the snare drums. The track rolls. The original on the other hand is is indeed a lot more electronica focused and build around synthesizer hooks as well as the vocals of Saydi.
“How was the experience for Annelies to sing the vocals on this track? I was blown away by the build up to the chorus, for example, that’s radically different done, but so effective.”
Sam: Yeah, that’s really a strength of Annelies as a vocalist. She can really capture a vibe. You know, we’ve been making music together for such a long time now. She understands what I’m trying to achieve with the musical arrangement and such.
“In another universe, would you have written a song like this yourself – both in lyrics and music? Or does this stray too far away from your original concept as a band?”
Sam: It really is something else, indeed. I certainly don’t have a song as No More Heroes in my catalogue!
“You’ve done so much already, for television and film, so I was wondering, is there more coming?”
Sam: I’m scoring a feature film at this moment – release TBA!.
Yves Schelpe (Psy’Aviah): I’m looking forward to it, as your work for Scheldepeleton together with SJ Hoffman was a breath of fresh air for sure to my ears in scoring for a sport / human interest documentary. Wish you the best of luck, and we’ll surely be seeing and hearing a lot more from CLAIRVAL I feel, I advise everyone to check out the links below to keep updated!
Follow CLAIRVAL via these channels:
– Website: https://www.clairval.online/
– Bandcamp: https://clairval.bandcamp.com/
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clairval.music/
– Instagram http://instagram.com/clairval.music
– Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO2rt_aP3j_mzz4MY_JCb6g
Follow Annelies Tanghe via these channels:
– Website: https://www.anneliestanghe.be/ & https://www.andthencamefall.com/
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tangheannelies/
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andthencamefall
– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCUlQvWowcXwuvEMnScc5Sg
– Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3pqzsG7E4yEgsh0WFYHxfc?si=0LEyHGYaReSU7Dpa4RJd1w
This song is part of the “Psy’Aviah Rediscovered” project, celebrating 20 years of Psy’Aviah with a brand-new album & cover versions of old songs by other bands – including the one featured in this interview by Sam Pieter Janssens aka CLAIRVAL. You can get a hold of the album via:
– 💿 CD: https://store.alfa-matrix-store.com/product/psyaviah-bittersweet-2cd/
– 💾 Bandcamp: https://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/album/bittersweet-bonus-version