The world is growing ever smaller. There are less places to hide and less space to think. Nothing is private. It's a notion that Belgian quintet Balthazar felt keenly as they traversed the world touring their 2012 album Rats. It was an intense period where they clocked up the sort of hard road mileage that can make or break a band but Balthazar's two songwriters, Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez, emerged emboldened. As Jinte explains, "we know each other's darkest secrets now. We grew together. You live together as each other's brother and sister. We discovered we really like each other."
Lives lived in each other's pockets has left its mark on Thin Walls, the stunning new album from the five-piece who are completed by Patricia Vanneste, Simon Casier and Michiel Balcaen. "Thin Walls is all about touring and never having any privacy," says Jinte. The songs were written in a hazy hyperactive state between shows. Balthazar's previous two albums, 2010's Applause and the calculated, searing alt-rock of 2012's Rats, were created in a slow, considered manner back home. This time round, the band had to fit in writing sessions whenever they had a spare day off. "When you're on tour, the mood is very restless and chaotic," says Maarten. "Life on tour is kind of weird, everything is prepared for you and you drink way too much. If you write with a hangover, then you write differently..."