Photo credit: Kelly Alexandre
“Atmospheric and strikingly beautiful compositions” – Clash Magazine
‘Stay/Leave’ is a collaborative double sided single between artists Ravvel and Poltrock. After connecting on tour with Belgian trip-hop band Hooverphonic, the two quickly decided to join forces and put their shared love of melancholy and minimalism to compositional use.
Recorded in “one takers”, each song and video tells an honest and direct tale of holding on and letting go. The diptych feels like a ripped out page of a personal diary put to music, an intimate conversation between the warm piano playing of Poltrock and the fragile vocals of Ravvel. ‘Stay/Leave’ are two opposite concepts, in this case serving the same narrative and should be seen as an inseparable entity.
Delicate and dreamy, Ravvel’s emotive performance is only enhanced by the enchanting keys that accompany her. The stripped back production puts its two stars centre stage and keeps the focus on their exquisite sonic partnership, and the story it tells.
Ravvel is the musical alter ego of singer/songwriter Nina Sampermans. Her vocal and writing stylings are softness and intimacy, leading you towards an inward journey. With platinum awards for her collaboration with Broiler on ‘Wild Eyes’, having been one of the lead vocalists of Hooverphonic, teaching at the conservatory of Rotterdam and currently writing for artists in Belgium, The Netherlands and abroad, Nina has collected a versatile résumé. The ‘Stay/Leave’ project is her most personal letter yet: heartache put to music.
She tells us that ‘Stay’ and ‘Leave’ are “tales about holding on, letting go and the choices we have to make in between. Two intimate songs about saying goodbye, inspired by personal heartbreak. Paradoxically, ‘Stay’ is about the difficulties of moving on, while ‘Leave’ is about indecisiveness.”
David Poltrock aka Poltrock has been around for some years as a multi-faceted session player, producer, soundtrack composer and sound designer collaborating with premium Belgian bands such as Hooverphonic, Triggerfinger and De Mens. His first solo release under the Poltrock moniker was the 2018 instrumental trilogy ‘Mutes, Moods & Machines’ in which he displays his affection for intimate piano sounds, menacing drones and pulsating electronica. Poltrock’s music met with national and international critical acclaim, resulting in a Belgian Music Industry Award for best musician in 2019. In ‘Stay/Leave’, Ravvel adds a precious melancholic dimension to the already intense mood of his work.