Feature, News, Reviews

J. Bernardt (of Balthazar) Announces New Album “Contigo” out May 17th via Play It Again Sam & Shares Two New Singles

February 29, 2024
Press shot credit: Athos Burez

J. Bernardt (of Balthazar) Announces

New Album Contigo

Out May 17th via Play It Again Sam 

Shares Two New Singles & Video for “Taxi”

J. Bernardt – aka Jinte Deprez (Balthazar) – prepares to release his second studio album Contigo, out on May 17 via Play It Again Sam. Alongside details of the upcoming album, J. Bernardt shares the first taste of new music with new single “Taxi”, which also includes a second track “Matter Of Time”.  Listen here.

Taxi is a song taking place in the midst of confusion and early contemplation, directed at a taxi driver who once picked up the singer. It is a literal trip (“can you please drive me to a point of no return”) as an escape to process the news of a breakup. The song showcases the elements of J. Bernardt’s upcoming album Contigo – from wild grooves, over humming backing vocals to cinematographic strings. A backdrop of taut, streamlined funk is met with thick bass and guitar twangs, adding to the contrast of strings and female choir. 

Contigo – Spanish for “with you” – is a dramatic, compelling and colourful body of work, infused with drama and brought to life by sumptuous melody, vocals and production flourishes from a master studio auteur as well as musical inventor and singer. Contigo explores all the phases of a break-up: shock, sadness, anger, denial, hurt, acceptance… and nails ‘viciously romantic’ in the process. “I know a break-up record is a cliché,” says Deprez. “But I’m growing to love cliches! I wasn’t afraid to go all the way. Forgetting about the break-up by singing about it is like self-sabotage, but I’m having fun with it too”

“Taxi” sets the bar high, and this stunning sultry soundscape emerges, from the buoyant and obsessive deep grooves emitting from the bass to the percussion shuffles and the soaring strings. Whilst this immersive and crisp landscape forms and engulfs the audience, the delectable vocal harmonies keep you fixated on the emotive outcome of this compelling composition. A stunning release.

A classically-trained violinist, Deprez has scored all the orchestrations for Contigo. He’s something of a generalist; singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, arranger, producer, engineer, programmer. He started producing with the first Balthazar album in 2008 (he’s co-produced three of their five albums to date), and his debut album (released in 2016) is entirely self-made. Whilst Running Days melange of sound was moulded by electronics, the new album Contigo is old-school band-based – namely a group of Deprez’s “super-talented,” friends that he guided through intense rehearsals and performances, “searching for that spark,” ably assisted by producer and mixer Tobie Speleman. 

Deprez is best known as one half of the singer-songwriter duo of Balthazar, one of Belgium’s most beloved and respected alt-rock bands for over two decades. As a group, they have performed at numerous prestigious events and venues such as All Points East, British Summer Time, Electric Ballroom, Village Underground, Scala, as well as selling over 600,000 albums worldwide. Running Days has been streamed over 40 million times globally, and counting. J. Bernardt’s highly anticipated sophomore album Contigo is due for release on May 17 via Play It Again Sam.

1. Rio 

2. Taxi 

3. Don’t Get Me Wrong 

4. Last Waltz 

5. Contigo 

6. Matter Of Time 

7. Mayday Call 

8. Left Bathroom Sink 

9. I’m The Ghost You Forgot 

10. Our Love Was Easy 

11. Free 


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