Bal have a special place in my heart. When I discovered them in Heidelberg, my hometown for five years, singer Stephan and drummer Max were part of a formation called Eine Schöne Männerband, playing a heartwearming farewell concert in our flat.
The first and, alas, only time I saw their current band Bal live was during an equally heartwearming mini-festival in a shed outside the city where the group is based in. Their own take on calm, slightly funky Indie Pop brings to mind Erlend Oye and a vintage version – including glockenspiel and dry-sounding drums – of Alt-J.
“Ursprung”, the band’s debut album, perfectly captures the relaxed atmosphere and general joie de vivre of life in Heidelberg. If you can’t visit it yourself, let the music of Bal take you there. (Philipp Fischer)