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.