few-bits-big-sparks

Few Bits: Big Sparks

The Belgian band's second album has arrived to wring the last drops of warmth out of summer's end.
Few Bits
Big Sparks
PIAS
2016-10-14

The second album from Belgium’s Few Bits was recorded at GAM Studios in Ardennes, near the eastern border with Germany, an area rich with verdant landscapes. The process was defined by brilliant late summer weather, outdoor meals and an easy atmosphere. The first single from Big Sparks, “Summer Sun” (“I want to go anywhere and dream away/I want to taste the day, so take me there”), was appropriately released this past May, and now, arriving in late September, the whole album feels like it was made to wring the last drops of warmth out of the season.

Karolien Van Ransbeeck, who wrote the first self-titled Few Bits album on her own, gathered up five other members for the full band that laid down Big Sparks. The team chemistry and confidence results in a broader, contoured dream pop that nonetheless holds on to a sense of introspection. “I feel good when I’m by myself/I don’t think I need anyone else,” Van Ransbeeck sings as the happy introvert on the buoyant “Anyone Else”, the vocal melody recalling the Spinanes in their upbeat mode. Many of the biggest hooks are clustered in the first half of the record, but Big Sparks is charming and disarming through and through.

RATING 7 / 10
PopMatters