K’s Choice, founded by brother sister duo, Sarah and Gert Bettens, have fulfilled their musical destiny by crafting a completely in your face, from start to finish, draw a line in the sand, don’t hold back, get up on your feet and get ready to party, you must hear it to believe it rock record! The fans asked for it, people who don’t even know they’re fans yet will want it, while the airwaves will be filled with this riff ready, smokey voiced musical adventure called, The Phantom Cowboy.
The album title.
Naming the new K’s Choice record, the heaviest they’ve ever made, was no simple task. The process required days of deliberation. Does The Phantom Cowboy title conjure up a vision of a pale riding apparition from another place in time and space, or, is it simply the title of a Scooby Doo comic book that was lying on the demo studio floor? Hmmmmmm..
Since Sarah was 19 and Gert 21 years old, it was normal writing procedure for each to compose a separate batch of songs, then play the individual creations for each other followed by duo edit sessions with only the strongest songs surviving the cut. This time however, they first sat together to determine the direction of the record and both agreed it was time to rock. As Sarah reflects, "Gert and I decided to write together for this record, which is something we really hadn’t done before. Since we wanted this record to have a very specific direction, we thought it would be fun to experiment with being in one room and feeding off each other. It turned out to be a great decision. We had a long writing session in the States and then another one in Europe. It made us focused and more importantly, it was a most enjoyable creative process.” And Gert adds,” With just a handful of ideas and no songs, we basically started from scratch, and what hasn’t really worked for us in the past turned out to be the perfect decision this time. Sarah’s cosy basement studio seemed the perfect muse as the guitar riffs and lyrics flowed, we created the first song of the session, “We Are the Universe”, and from that point on we just couldn’t stop!"
The live show.
Because K’s Choice are revered for their stunning live performances, playing the new songs live is always a primary consideration when writing for themselves and their fans. As Sarah reflects, "This is the heaviest record K’s Choice has ever made. After the Antarctic soundtrack record and all the acoustic theater shows, we were ready to stand upright and give it our all on stage. One of the criteria for the songs on this record was that it HAD to be exciting to play live, and all the songs had to rock!”
Alain Johannes. (Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl’s Sound City).
As Gert explains, “Never meet your heroes, we’ve met people along the way that we considered our heroes only to be sorely disappointed in the experience—on the other side of the spectrum is Alain, one of the best musicians and producers on the planet who made our recording experience enjoyable and so incredibly easy. Sarah adds, “ We knew we were capable of producing this record by ourselves, but we wanted it to be more than good, we wanted it to be spectacular. Honestly, we never thought we could attract someone of Alain’s caliber to work with us, then he turned out to be so nice and compatible and so incredibly knowledgeable, it was probably the easiest record we’ve ever made."
From Sarah’s perspective, "I actually thought there was no theme to this record lyrically and then I looked at the list and started thinking about the subject matter of all these songs and there’s such a longing for ‘realness’ both in my brother’s lyrics and mine. There’s a lot in there about being true to yourself and daring to push forward when you feel like everything around you is trying to hold you back. I find myself caring less and less what people think of me, especially strangers, and that reflects in almost every song I’ve written. "Private Revolution" talks about being hit by certain realizations in the course of your life. Things can hit you hard and they can come out of nowhere and I think a lot of happiness lies in learning to navigate the inevitable and long list of changes and adjustments.
Gert adds, “When writing this record, the music was created first—but I knew we had to write a song with the title, “Perfect Scar”. To me, “Perfect Scar” is symbolic of how it's often popular to avoid the truth by glossing over the sadness and darkness of the world we live in today while posting superficially on social media. I call it pimping reality, an innocent antidote perhaps, but we want to know about real people, and their honest feelings!"
Those K’s Choice fans from around the globe who have been clamoring for a pure rock record from Sarah and Gert will certainly not be disappointed once they dive into this amazing latest musical creation, The Phantom Cowboy.
The Phantom Cowboy is proudly available on Wallaby Records, LLC., distributed by Sony Music for Continental Europe, and MPress Records for North America, the U.K., and Ireland.