Le nouveau Marble Sounds est arrivé. For more than 10 years Pieter Van Dessel has continued to challenge himself musically, and on his fifth album he doesn’t do it by pushing boundaries, but just by penetrating deeper into the core of Marble Sounds. The band’s name is the album’s title. “Closer to the essence of Marble Sounds and myself as a musician probably won’t happen” Van Dessel says. “Artists sometimes say they step out of their comfort zone, but I feel like with this record I went into my comfort zone.”

That comfort zone is largely built around piano and strings. Together with co-producer David Poltrock, Van Dessel placed three pianos on a stage: a grand piano, a self-playing grand piano and a self-playing upright piano, both controlled via a laptop.

“By predetermining the essence of the sound, this has become Marble Sounds’ most homogeneous album. A real record, and not a collection of songs,” believes Van Dessel, who produced the record himself. Within that framework, he does explore musical boundaries, from the more electronic sound in ‘Axolotl’ to the neoclassical touch in ‘My Initial Intentions’. On the glorious ‘Soon It’ll Make Us Laugh’ a Bulgarian choir sings along and you can even hear Van Dessel’s young daughters.

Promoted singles ‘Quiet’, ‘Never Leave My Heart’ and ‘Axolotl’ had already shown what the new horizons of Marble Sounds sounded like: songs that unfold from a conjuring piano, strings and Van Dessel’s velvety voice into lushly orchestrated indie pop gems, such as those made by Sufjan Stevens, Nils Frahm or Damien Jurado. The singles were received very enthusiastically at home and abroad, ‘Quiet’ even played a starring role in the finale of the popular Netflix/TV series ‘Undercover’.