In an era where most things are fleeting and today’s heroes are forgotten tomorrow, I Spy is releasing a new album ‘While the War Began’. The idea for this album was hatched in a time when nobody foresaw the onslaught of digital media. Needless to say, it has been brooded upon for a long time. After their first two albums, I Spy dreamt of a new vinyl record. To make these dreams become reality, work had to be done and lots of it!
For the better part of the past 7 years, I Spy chipped away at this monumental task. Inspired by prog-rock royalty, the likes of Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, I Spy found an original voice, tutored by the past, eager for what lies ahead, but strongly rooted in the present. Quirky and autobiographical through text and music, I Spy doesn’t just follow the mainstream pack.
Sides 1 and 2, ‘Unforgotten’ and ‘Fearless’, touch on emotional subjects, lyrical and almost spiritual, with birth, life, love and death as building blocks. Sides 3 and 4, ‘War’ and ‘Odyssey’, have a grand and worldly character, with elements of the epic tales of Homer. All-in-all a narrative bundle of compositions that have been fused into a rhapsody with hints of opera. Exciting, energetic, surprising, melodic and experimental.
Since the early days, I Spy consisted of Peter Duinkerken, Harry Poelman, Erik Westerhof and Aernout Steegstra. In the new millennium they were joined by drummer Joost van Soest, a relative youngster among these seasoned veterans of prog.
For this new album I Spy worked with various musicians, not in the least Eric Vloeimans, who lent his incredible talent to various tracks. Also Inez Timmer, former I Spy vocalist, appears in a cameo on the album.
Recording was done at Studio Spitsbergen, among other illustrious places such as the Saint Piter Rectory in Grou. Even the sound of the historic Schnitger organ in the Martini Church in Groningen can be heard on the album.
While the War Began is grand and intimate, loud and subtle, colorful as well as monochrome. It is dreamlike and poetic, lovely yet gruesome, looking back and looking forward all at once. A document of lasting value to withstand the test of time.
So listen closely, it’s time to Spy!