Flo Windey

5 Oct
Music

A Walk Through Brussels with My Walkman and Angèle’s Debut Album Brol

On a Wednesday in a dark and gloomy metro station in Brussels the most colorful and cheerful blonde girl presented her album and pop-up store. Her blonde bangs hang loosely and she’s wearing a pink and blue tracksuit made by her boyfriend. She’s sitting in front of a dozen journalists who all listen to her soft voice. Angèle presents her first album Brol. A word you may not be familiar with as it’s a Belgian word. But “brol” is what we call a mess or trash. Does that mean she sees her album as trash? No, not at all. Angèle just loves the word “brol”. C’est du brol.

The floor in the little underground store is yellow and the visuals on the walls are colorful and mesmerizing. How could someone make a room in a dark metro station this warm and cozy? Angèle didn’t do it by herself. Charlotte Abramow is a Belgian photographer and filmmaker who has made video clips for Angèle. The creative friendship now resulted in an artsy pop-up shop in Brussels metro station Rogier that you can visit starting this Friday until next Saturday.

The Voice of a Generation

Angèle already stole our hearts with her singles “La Loi de Murphy”, “Je Veux Tes Yeux” and “La Thune”. Three songs that recall the vibe of a young, funny and poppy musician. However, is it possible that she’ll surprise us on this album and show another side of herself as an artist? No disappointments there. As I got my hands on a CD, I searched for my walkman player as I don’t own a car to play it. I popped my headphones on as the first track started playing, “La Thune”. Not an unknown song as it was a single. I’m walking around the city and Angèle is telling me how we do it all for the gram, how we only think about what other people will think and how we’re actually so lonely behind our little screens. She sounds prophetical, as if an angel is doing slam poetry in the softest way ever.

I turned right and ended up in a big shopping street. The groovy “Balance ton quoi” beats through my ears as I walk by the shops. “Même si tu parles mal des filles, je sais que au fond tu as compris.”  It’s only the second song on the album and you can already tell this young artist is the voice of a generation. She addresses the sexual harassment women endure during their life. “Tu sais très bien quand tu abuses, il y a plus de respect dans la rue.” No truer words were ever spoken. Or did you never get catcalled whilst strolling around? If you were looking for a feminist anthem that doesn’t sound typically angry: this is the one.

Relatable af

As I arrive at a small café, Angèle’s latest single “Jalousie” plays on my walkman. She’s asking herself a lot of questions to which her jealousy has all the answers. Relationships in time of social media, a breeding ground for jealousy. Who’s that girl on his phone and why does she make me feel like I’m not good enough? Relatable? Yes.

The next song “Tout Oublier” is a song with her brother Roméo Elvis. She has been featured on the album of her brother before, but this time she was his boss. At the end of the day her brother had to listen to her decision. Although they wrote a song together, she had the final word. This song makes me want to leave my tea and dance, however the lyrics are a little bit dark. It’s about how it’s no longer trendy to be sad over everything all the time.

The spleen. You might as well forget everything and that’s exactly what this song does. Angèle comes from a very talented family. Her mother is a comedian and her father plays in a band. Her brother is one of the most successful rappers of Belgium and there she is. Angèle would like to be known for what she’s capable of doing and not of who she is. Which is something to admire.

Murphy’s law

I’m about to leave and pay for my tea, but I forgot my wallet so I guess this is how I’ll introduce the song “La Loi de Murphy”. Everything can go wrong and Angèle writes about it like she’s giving you the best comedy show you’ve ever seen. Forget Kevin Hart and Louis CK. Who said women can’t be funny? Did anyone ever say that?

Up until now the album was up-tempo, but Angèle is full of surprises and I invite you to listen to the song “Nombreux”. I’ll let the song speak for itself since it really touches a side of Angèle we haven’t seen or heard before, but which we’d love to see more of.

Food for thought

When I say Angèle is the voice of a generation, I mean she has a song dedicated to people who are victims of social media. “Victime des réseaux” is a poppy song that addresses all the aspects of the influence of social media on the lives of young people. To be perfectly honest: I sat on a bench to listen to the rest of the album and I completely forgot where I was. On her album Brol Angèle plays your mind and actually provides food for thought. Why are we letting these bad and negative vibes into our lives? Why do we keep on tolerating the fakeness of social media? I entirely zoned out.

This album speaks words that only the fragile french voice of Angèle can. If this is not enough for you to go and listen to the album, I don’t know what is. She even has a song dedicated to laziness in which she repeatedly says that going out is for suckers. This album is relatable for every young person and I cannot emphasize the importance of these subjects enough.

I picked myself up from the bench and walked home. A little bit confused, but I immediately played the first song on Angèle’s album again. Just so I could listen. Again.

If you’re in the neighborhood or would like to visit her shop in Metro Rogier: it’s possible. You can buy her vinyl and merch AND SHE MIGHT SIGN RECORDS ON TUESDAY. IT’S TOPSECRET, BUT I’VE PUT IT IN. Angèle’s album Brol is now available everywhere.

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