Puggy have been exploring the multifaceted nature of pop ever since they started out more than ten years ago. The Belgian trio have always refused to look at life in black and white, and set off each time to map lands that lie far beyond the official borders of the genre. So what could be more fitting a title for their fourth studio album than Colours ? The record brilliantly illustrates the exuberant, multicolored approach that has become the group’s trademark over the years. Living in Brussels, Puggy steadily made such a name for themselves on the Belgian pop scene that by 2014, they could pack out one of the capital’s largest concert venues: Forest National.
To make Colours, they turned to English producer David Kosten, the grand sound wizard behind Bat For Lashes and Everything Everything, who performs in his own right as Faultline. In London and Brussels, he and the band created an irresistible hybrid of intoxicating melodies and futuristic effects, where state-of-the-art technology caters to the needs of classic pop songwriting. Keen to embrace whatever jewels they come across, Puggy show great daring, combining organic instruments and electro beats, sparkling rock and brooding ballads, and even rolling back the frontiers of convention to encompass Madagascan guitars (Feel So Low). “Every form of music has something to say,” considers Matthew Irons, singer and guitarist. “When we talk among ourselves, we use a constant mix of English and French. And musically too we like to speak many different languages.”
Their three previous albums won them a loyal following, not only in their local playground, but also in France, where they began to perform at an impressive number of festivals and concerts, initially as support acts (for Incubus, The Smashing Pumpkins, etc.), before rapidly rising to the top of the bill at venues such as the Paris Olympia, the Lyon Transbordeur or the Toulouse Bikini.
On their forthcoming tour, they will be playing five dates in Paris (at La Maroquinerie) in April.
Spurred on by their creative curiosity, the three friends enjoy endlessly extending their skills sets. Each new record is an opportunity to explore new techniques. Originally musicians and songwriters, Puggy have become producers, sound engineers and arrangers. They see sound processing as an instrument in its own right, like the voice.
Late in 2014, as the long tour to promote their last album, To Win The World, came to an end, they immediately began to think about what should come next. For months, they remained in Brussels, shutting themselves away in a huge edifice that was formerly the studios of VRT (Flemish radio and television). The abandoned building inspired their song Lonely Town, the atmospherically enchanting, nostalgic first single from Colours. The location has changed out of all recognition since the days when it hosted TV performances by such legends as The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys, and is now a unique temple of creativity, home to an entire generation of Brussels artists.
From March to October 2015, Puggy occupied and recorded in the area that used to be VRT’s kitchens and canteen. The group were delighted by its unusual acoustics and had never had so much room to express their vision. It was a breath of fresh air, a feeling that fills every last nook and cranny of Colours. “We’d always worked as a power trio,” explains Matthew Irons, “putting a lot of energy and punch into our music. This time, we wanted to explore a new sound palette to totally revitalize and aerate the music.” So, a squall warning for the Belgian pop scene!