Hooverphonic are a Belgian band who initially became known for their moody, playful take on trip-hop during the mid-'90s. Since then, the band's sound has evolved greatly, incorporating psychedelic, pop, and orchestral elements. The group's songs have appeared in numerous advertisements as well as film and television soundtracks, and they have a considerable fan base throughout the world. However, they are superstars in their native Belgium; starting with 1998's Blue Wonder Power Milk, all of their albums (including compilations and live recordings) have hit the Top Ten of the album charts, and five of them have reached the top spot.

Initially known as Hoover, the group was founded in 1995 by Alex Callier, Frank Duchêne, and Raymond Geerts. The band cut its first demo with singer Esther Lybeert, and industrial musician Luc Van Acker (Revolting Cocks, Lords of Acid) encouraged the group to shop its music to record labels. Eventually the group signed with Sony, but Lybeert decided to leave the group, so Liesje Sadonius became Hoover's vocalist for the recording of their first album. Hoover made their initial splash contributing the song "2Wicky" (an eerie trip-hop number sampling both Pierre Henry and Isaac Hayes) to the soundtrack of the 1996 Bernardo Bertolucci film Stealing Beauty. The hit was followed by the full-length A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular, a trippy album filled with breakbeats and samples. By the time the album was issued in America in 1997, the group had changed its name to Hooverphonic in order to avoid confusion with other bands titled Hoover, as well as the American vacuum cleaner manufacturer.

Hot on the heels of the experimental smorgasbord that was ‘In Wonderland’, Hooverphonic has returned to its roots. The new single ‘Romantic’ is a vintage Alex Callier composition: howling notes, rich hues, subtle frills, and a sweeping melody. A repeated ‘I’m not romantic’ mantra takes a potential run-of-the-mill pop song into uncharted and exciting territories. Lyrical dissonance at its finest.

Fresh-faced ‘The Voice’ winner Luka Cruysberghs (too young to have lived through the 90s!) provides ample vocal ammunition for a Hooverphonic home run. A highly romantic song. Or anything but.

ON April 18th, Hooverphonic played their first sold-out gig with Luka at Islington Assembly Hall, London. In June they will tour throughout the US, followed by several European festivals in the summer.

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