Best Tracks of 2014
as selected by Brett Summers

“Bright Life”

At the end of February, Amongster was one of three winners at De Nieuwe Lichting, the talent competition organized by Studio Brussel, the biggest Flemish rock radio station. In June, Thomas Oosterlynck and his band, named after a song by Poliça, released their first single, “Bright Life”.

Amongster on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.

Arsenal ft. Lydmor
“Temul (Lie Low)”

Arsenal’s not only the name of a world class football team from the UK, it’s also a Belgian band that’s easily selling out venues of a few thousand people in their home country. Their songs are always danceable and never shallow. It’s never too late to get to know these guys, so here’s their hit single featuring Danish singer Lydmor.

Arsenal on www, Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.


Only their friends and families will know if 2014 really was a quiet year for the members of Balthazar. It started in a busy way with this impressive non-album single and a tour that sold out almost completely. Even though it’s a typical Balthazar song, it’s more up tempo and danceable than the majority of their music. Let’s hope the band’s been working very hard on a new album to be released in 2015.

Balthazar on www, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Byron Bay
“God Only Knows”

Byron Bay impressed both music lovers and the professional jury during this year’s edition of Humo’s Rock Rally, Flanders’ most important contest for upcoming rock and pop talents. Their outstanding vocal harmonies yielded the band a spot in the final. With this debut single they managed to get airplay on radio and tv alike.

Byron Bay on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Italian Boyfriend
“Me on a Train”

2014 was a great year for lo-fi pop, and also Belgium produced a few gems. Italian Boyfriend couldn’t really promote their EP, because one of the members had a very busy period with the international breakthrough of his other band BRNS, but this song is really a great combination of simplicity and melody.

Italian Boyfriend on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Marble Sounds
“Ship in the Sand”

Marble Sounds obtained their first commercial chart success with their previous single “Leave a Light On”. Now the guys released a new one and, despite being a cover of Robin Proper-Sheppard, it’s very representative for the style of the band. Pieter Van Dessel’s warm voice is the perfect glue between the folky and post rock influences in the music.

Marble Sounds on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

Melting Time

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, is an expression that’s often used by people who made it to the top. Despite high expectations from journalists and fans, in February Melting Time got eliminated in the semifinals of Belgium’s most important rock contest. The band kept on working hard, resulting in a successful release of the energetic post-punk single called “Eyes” and yielding the boys and girl many gigs.

Melting Time on www, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.

Monster Youth
“Get Out”

I’d never heard of Monster Youth until August 2014 when they participated in a local contest of which I was one of the jury members. The energy of their psychedelic garage rock struck me straight away, and next to the power, the song they chose to release as a single also has a brilliant melody. Silence is golden, but noise is better in the case of Monster Youth.

Monster Youth on Facebook.

Oscar and the Wolf

The Belgian sensation of the year is called Oscar and the Wolf. Despite a few promising and folky ep’s and lots of mentions in ‘bands to watch’ lists during the last few years, it took these guys till 2014 to reach the mainstream audience and headline spots at festivals like Pukkelpop. The dream pop of ‘Princes’ managed to attract the adoration of fans of alternative sounds as well as lovers of commercial music.

Oscar and the Wolf on www, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, Twitter.

“Ta fête”

Having set the Belgian music scene on fire in 2013 Stromae continued to fascinate both fans and music professionals during the past twelve months. While Thibaut Courtois, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne and their colleagues put their country back on the international football map, Stromae showed the world that people in our country can do more than just kicking balls on a pitch.

Stromae on www, Facebook, Twitter.