Pauwel shares his debut album 'Dear'

Posted on 08 Apr 2022

Dear is Pauwel’s big step forward. His debut album on Unday is a mature collection of songs about loss in all its different facets. Pauwel openly confronts his demons, without ever losing sight of the essence: rock-solid and captivating folk songs between hope and despair, comforting and disquieting at the same time. Dear turns out a record to cherish and completely disappear into.

Shortly after Pauwel finished his previous EP, his mother passed away. A few weeks later, Europe went into lockdown for a second time. Pauwel wanted to cope with this turbulent episode on his debut on Unday Records, but the isolation during the pandemic only cast more doubts. During the darkest winter months, the 31-year-old songwriter realized that loss comes in many guises: lovers come to leave, suddenly leave or turn out to have become strangers. “Dear” is the account of this dark period in Pauwel's life. A reckoning with all the bad that happened to him and his peers. It is also a bridge to whatever comes next, a hopeful glance at the future.

On ‘Dear’, Pauwel expands his musical universe considerably, without losing his characteristic melancholy and distinctive voice. With the help of musicians Sander Smeets, Koen De Gendt and David Broeders - his new backing band - the rough folk diamonds were polished into mature songs. The stunning voice of Catherine Smet (aka Bluai) serves as a comforting echo on a handful of songs.
“Dear” was recorded at three different locations by producer Bert Vliegen (Whispering Sons, Sophia). The opening track “Murderer” and the haunting “Bones” were created in a hut in Walcourt. The bulk of the record was recorded during an intense week at the GAM Studio in Waimes. While the TV news showed apocalyptic images of the floods in the province of Liège around the clock, Pauwel and his band finished the songs. Rich, spacy arrangements (“Lazy”), rambling country-rockers (“Deer” & “Sister”) or a tearful one-taker on Fender Rhodes (“Mother”): during this session “Dear” finally came together.