8th November 2023 • Reflektor


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19:00 Portes
20:00 Philemon
21:00 Warhaus


Ha Ha Heartbreak / Warhaus

It’s been half a decade since Warhaus, the brainchild of Maarten Devoldere (Balthazar), suddenly conquered our musical hearts with the triumphant double win of We Fucked a Flame into Being (2016) and Warhaus (2017). And no, not because he’s been spending his time in Ghent relentlessly writing and refining new material – quite the contrary. The songs for the brand-new album Ha Ha Heartbreak sprang from him in just three weeks in the sultry city of Palermo. All Devoldere needed was the solitude of a hotel room, a guitar, a microphone and a heart recently broken into a thousand pieces. Grief was hard to deal with, so, of course, Sicily was an escape. But as they say, those who try to escape life soon come up against themselves.
The listener won’t immediately notice. The smoky opening track and first single “Open Window” drifts into a groove that invites you to sway and snap your fingers. Sure, she’s gone, but “Girl, it’s in the future we belong”, sings Devoldere a little too confidently. We believe him, all the more so as the song opens with a subtly euphoric outro reminiscent of a French film from the Seventies: a glorious, unabashedly romantic theme, carried by a dozen steamy male voices, soars on the wings of a vast string arrangement and climaxes with virtuoso piano notes.

This treacherous contrast between form and content persists throughout the album: Ha Ha Heartbreak – even the title is catchy – wraps Devoldere’s sorrow in catchy hooks, instant choruses and irresistible melodies.
Oooh let me be your baby”, sings the chorus seductively in “When I Am With You”. It’s backed by sexy percussion and laid-back funk guitars that have learned the ropes from Marvin Gaye or Sade. It’s as if he’s trying to convince us (her?) that he’s dating again, as if he’s hoping we won’t look at the lyric sheet. But – this is advice – we do, of course. Shortly afterwards, in “It Had to Be You”, he confesses: “You’re mistaking me for someone in control”.


Philemon brings you heartfelt indie-folk music with a twist. Anton De Boes, the singer-songwriter behind Philemon, grew up in a musical family. The son of a Beatles fan and a music teacher, he was immersed in melodies and scales from an early age. He took his first musical steps as a bass player in various bands.
With his previous EPs, ‘Hourglass’ and ‘Familiar Stranger’, Anton received rave reviews from the national press and radio, and was soon supporting Andy Shauf, Dope Lemon, Phosphorescent and Jesca Hoop. He claims to be inspired by Elliott Smith and Wilco, but feel free to add Father John Misty and tears of love to his list of influences.