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Laïs


Country of origin:

Belgium

Type of music generally:

Beautiful & fierce traditional and neo-traditional contemporary folk and folk/pop.

Status:

Most recent release, Laïs Lenski (with cellist Simon Lenski, 2009)

See also:

Laïs' site

Wikipedia's entry on Laïs

Laïs's Facebook page

Comparisons:

A little like Garmarna, Gjallerhaorn, Hedningarna, Värttinä

Covers/own material:

Traditional, own, covers

General comments:

Laïs are a Belgian vocal-based mostly traditional group, generally focusing on harmonies and singing with minimal instrumentation, and often a cappella. The Ladies' Second Song is one of the most unique folk/trad/pop albums ever. (Neile)

Lais remind me of a more melodic Värttinä. They sing in Flemish and their albums are just gorgeous. One of the best discoveries of 2002. (gordoja@optonline.net)

Comments about live performance:

Someone sent me a CD of them live, and it's truly delightful. If they were appearing anywhere near me, I would definitely try to catch them—I think they would shine especially well live. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Dorothea or Douce victime for their more traditional side, The Ladies' Second Song for something a little odder.

Recordings:


Laïs

Release info:

1998—ALEA/Wild Board Music—WBM 201005

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Jorunn Bauweaerts—vocals
Nathalie Delcroix—vocals
Annelies Brosens—vocals

Guest artists:

Erwin Libbrecht—guitar
Peter Libbrecht—viol
Harlind Libbrecht—dulcimer, mandolin
Bart De Cock—Flemish bagpipes (deodelzak), nyckelharpa
Hans Quaghebeur—hurdy gurdy, accordions, klavier
Mario Vermandel—bass
Dirk Verhegge—electric guitar
Phillippe Mobers—drums, percussion
Jacques Vandevelde—harp

Comments:

An album of traditional songs, epitomizing what I describe above, where the focus is on harmonies and stripped-down instrumentation. There are several a cappella songs. There is even one track in English (a Sinéad O'Connor cover that I originally assumed was traditional!) There is also a Jacques Brel cover. Hilariously, the final track is a short section of the previous track backwards. A very intriguing album, and a good introduction to this group. (Neile)

Dorothea

Release info:

2000—Virgin Music Belgium—LC 3098

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jorunn Bauweaerts—vocals
Nathalie Delcroix—vocals
Annelies Brosens—vocals

Guest artists:

Fritz Sundermann—acoustic guitar, electric guitar, charango, octave guitar, harmonium, bass, mandocello
Hans Quaghebeaur—hurdy gurdy, accordions, flute
Ronny Reuman—drums, percussion
Bart Denolf—contrabass, electric bass
Michel Seba—percussion
Fan&çois Verue—electric bass (7)
Bart De Cock—nyckleharpa
Ludo van Deau—vocals

Produced by:

Fritz Sundermann and Laïs

Comments:

Here they mix their own compositions ("Doran" in particular is compelling and gorgeous though all the tracks are strong) with traditional songs, a song by Philippe Eidel and Lucilla Galeazzi, a Hedningarna track, etc. They've come into their own with this album—it's lively, lovely, and powerful. Highly, higly recommended for anyone who likes harmonies, traditional sounds, lively, lovely music. (Neile)

A la capella

with Ludo Vaneau

Release info:

2003—Virgin Music Belgium—5844442

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Jorunn Bauweaerts—vocals
Nathalie Delcroix—vocals
Annelies Brosens—vocals
Ludo Vandeau—vocals

Produced by:

Laïs

Comments:

gorgeous harmonies, gorgeous songs—only complaint is the mini album is on the shortish side and leaves me wanting more :) (gordoja@optonline.net)

This is mostly traditional songs—all a cappella. It includes a a sacred song which sounds very Anonymous 4-esque—crystal clear and gorgeous. There's also a cover of Neil Young's "After The Goldrush" which makes a pretty amazing song sung this way. (Neile)


Douce victime

Release info:

2004—EMI—07243 578333 2 S

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Annelies Brosen—vocals
Jorunn Bauweraerts—vocals
Nathalie Delcroix—vocals

Guest artists:

Marc Bonne—drums, percussion
Pieter Van Buiten, Jan Hulsens—bass
Fritz Sundermann—guitars, saz, midi programming, sounds
Wigbert Van Lierde—acoustic guitars, washboard, banjo
Geert Vaegeman—violin
Didier Laloy—diatonic accordion
Harad Bauwweraerts—hurdy gurdy
Wouter Van Belle—hammond, piano, melotron
Yannic Donderie—midi programming, samples
Robin Thompson—bassoon, koto, shamisen, sho, hichiriki
Ron Reuman—drums, percussion (2)

Produced by:

Wouter Van Belle, Peter Obbels, Arthur De Kegel

Comments:

They've always included a song or two from other traditions, but here they go farther afield, including tracks with Middle Eastern and Eastern European flavours. This album is way up there with Dorothea as one of their best to me. (Neile)

The Ladies' Second Song

Release info:

2007—Bang! Music—bc 0361

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Annelies Brosens—vocals
Nathalie Delcroix—vocals
Jorunn Bauweraerts—vocals, acoustic guitar (3, 9, 12), banjoline (9), violin (9)

Guest artists:

Elko Blijweert—electric guitar (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 12, 13), acoustic guitar (4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12), ebow guitars (10), piano (10), Godzilla vocal (6)
Filipe Vanderbril—double bass (2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13), percussion (12), loop (12)
Dago Sondervan—drums (6, 7, 12 13), electronics (9, 10, 11)
Bjorn Eriksson—electronics (1, 4, 5), electric guitar (3, 10), acoustic guitar (1, 3) synths (5, 10), acoustic bass (5), percussion (1, 3), vocals (4), piano (10)
Dan Lacksman—Moog Voyager (1, 3), EMSVSC (3)

Produced by:

Elko Blijweert, Bjorn Eriksson, and Laïs

Comments:

One of my favourite albums of 2007. It's an odd one, with songs from W. B. Yeats and Neruda, sounding more pop with more instrumentation than their usual music, but still very traditionally based. Strange but powerful and highly compelling. I find it irresistible. A unique recording. (Neile)

Laïs Lenski

with Simon Lenski

Release info:

2009—Bang! Music—BC 0601

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Nathalie Delcroix, Jorunn Bauwraerts, Annelies Brosens, vocals
Simon Lenski—cello

Comments:

This is a stripped-down album: three voices and cello. It mostly feels like it's on the more experimental edge and this may not be for everyone. It occasionally has elements of the catchy The Ladies' Second Song but mostly is quieter. It includes a Nico cover, two Shostakovitch songs. (Neile)

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Entry last updated 2016-08-20 15:32:51.
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