We have two pieces of news: one good and one bad. The good one is that Belgian duo Juicy is releasing their latest EP today, titled Cruelles Formes. The bad news is… it’s their final work before going on a hiatus and taking some free time to take care of their personal lives. Yes, it’s bittersweet, but there’s always a silver lining: you have five new songs from the duo formed by Sasha Vovk and Julie Rens. Have a listen!
This work is a milestone in Juicy’s career for various reasons. The first one is that it’s the first time they publish an entire record in French. Pas mal, non? Secondly, they’ve made it entirely with Echt, who they define as “exceptional friends and musicians.” Speaking more of Cruelles Formes, Sasha and Julie say: “Music has always been our common language, and this time, we've decided to play with new sounds by exploring the French language, all while collaborating with the talented group Echt.”
But why is it so different? How did this EP come to life? The answer is simple: they made it during a writing residency in the Belgian countryside, where inspiration seemed to flow seamlessly into their creative process. Starting with the first song, g pas l’argent, the duo kept writing and ended up with this five-track work that is a temporary farewell to the music scene. Actually, that first song ignited it all. “When we write, we start typically by listing the themes we want to address. Then, the initial draft comes out in a kind of improvisational singing, without concrete phrases—just words that flow together, giving an idea of the melodic phrasing. It’s always challenging to delve into the complexity of certain themes in such a brief format,” Sasha and Julie say about g pas l’argent.
“Generally, two or three verses and a chorus don’t allow us to explore things in depth. In this case, we decided to keep the initial improvised draft for g pas l’argent. Conjuring a very clear, simple, and direct image to address the growing and alienating precarity seemed like an interesting path to take,” they continue. With that philosophy and creative process in mind, Juicy kept writing and recording the EP, which resulted in deconstructed rhythms and melodies that also mix poetry and abstract soundscapes, escaping any kind of genre or classification.
This new way of working permeates all of the tracks: g pas l’argent, branche moi, zagadamoigada, bruit qui court, and Lolo. And just as quickly as they wrote them, they also produced them in three days with Echt. As Juicy explain: “We wanted to change the working procedure, which had always been based on lengthy exchanges with producers. This time, we sought a more direct construction, in harmony with the fluidity with which we had written these five new pieces. In three days in the studio, it was done, and it was entirely new for us to hear the framework of our pieces so quickly!”