Hooverphonic is a Belgian rock/pop group, formed in 1995. Though early on categorized as a trip hop group, they quickly expanded their sound to the point where they could no longer be described as a lone genre, but rather encompass alternative, electronica, electropop, rock, and mixture of others.. The band originally called themselves Hoover, but later changed their name to Hooverphonic after discovering other groups were already using the Hoover name and to avoid any legal issues with the vacuum cleaner company.
On 10 October 2008, Geike Arnaert, the lead singer of the band, announced she would leave the group by the end of the year to pursue her solo career. Arnaert wants to focus on her solo career and has been working on solo material for a few months. The last concert of Hooverphonic with Geike happened on 13 December 2008 in Tele-Club, Ekaterinburg, Russia. It was filmed by local MTV station and will be shown on Russian TV in 2009.
Hooverphonic have said that they are currently searching for a new singer. Auditions were held through their website but it is not known whether a new singer has been selected.
A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular
The original members of the group were vocalist Liesje Sadonius, keyboardist Frank Duch?ne, bassist Alex Callier, and guitarist Raymond Geerts. The band achieved international recognition through the inclusion of the track "2Wicky" (from A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular) on the soundtrack to Bernardo Bertolucci's 1996 film Stealing Beauty. "2Wicky" also appeared on the soundtracks of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Heights. The track's main riff is sampled from Isaac Hayes' recording of the 1960s hit Walk on By.
Sadonius left Hooverphonic on amicable terms shortly after the release of A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular. Kyoko Baertsoen, singer for fellow Belgian trip-hop band Lunascape, filled in for Sadonius for three months of a European tour in 1997 before Geike Arnaert was made the permanent singer in early 1998. Additional session musicians: Eric Bosteels was a session drummer with Hooverphonic from 1997-98, replaced by Mario Goossens until 2005. David Poltrock was keyboard player from the group on-and-off from 1998 until 2005. In 1998 Hooverphonic contributed to the Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses, with their cover of "Shake the Disease."
Blue Wonder Power Milk
After an extensive European tour with artists such as Massive Attack, Morcheeba and Apollo 440, and a tour opening for Fiona Apple in the United States in 1997, the band released Blue Wonder Power Milk in 1998 with 18-year-old Arnaert on vocals. A marked departure from their debut, the album is driven less by breakbeats and samples and more by organic string elements and traditional song structures.
The single "Club Montepulciano" was a hit in native Belgium and a minor college hit in the U.S., while "Renaissance Affair" was featured in the North American commercial campaign for the new Volkswagen Vapor Beetle. "This Strange Effect" and "Eden" were both featured in American cell phone commercials-- "This Strange Effect" for the Motorola SLVR, and most recently in 2006, "Eden" for the Cingular 8525. "Eden" was also used in the 1998 slasher film "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer."At the time of their release, both songs were also featured in two separate third season episodes of La Femme Nikita. Shortly afterward, Sarah Brightman recorded a cover of "Eden" on her 1998 album "Eden".
The Magnificent Tree
The band followed up Blue Wonder Power Milk with 2000's The Magnificent Tree, which expands on the sound of Milk with a warmer, more approachable sound. Highlights from the album are the string-laden "Out Of Sight", "Mad About You" (a big hit all over the world), and the title track, which borrows heavily from Crosby, Stills and Nash's "Guinnevere".
The same year, Hooverphonic was asked to write a song specifically for the opening ceremony of the 2000 European Football Championship, which took place in Brussels, Belgium. The result - a 12-minute long track called "Visions" - became the theme song of the championship, and Hooverphonic's performance at the opening ceremony was heard/seen by more than 1 billion people.
On the heels of Tree's success, the band became the first Belgian outfit to headline the Belgian musical festival Rock Werchter in 2001.
Presents Jackie Cane
Main article: Hooverphonic Presents Jackie Cane
2002 saw the group shifting gears again, this time releasing the concept album Hooverphonic Presents Jackie Cane. The album tells the story of the fictional title character, a celebrity and singer catapulted into stardom at the expense of her relationship with her twin sister. Driven to the brink of insanity by the pressures of fame, Jackie quits show business and returns home to attempt reconciliation, where her sister kills them both with a poisoned last supper.
Jackie Cane retains the dreamy elements of Hooverphonic's previous works, most notably on songs "Nirvana Blue" and "Human Interest" (which contains references to "Echoes" by Pink Floyd), but tracks like "The World Is Mine" (the first single) and "Day After Day" have a clear Broadway influence and quality to them. The album went platinum in Belgium and won the group ZAMU's Best Pop/Rock Band and Best Album awards in 2002.
Sit Down and Listen to Hooverphonic
In 2003, the band released a live (i.e. recorded live with an orchestra but without any audience) album entitled Sit Down and Listen to Hooverphonic, featuring a selection of songs from the band's body of work, as well as the new songs "Antarctica" and "The Last Thing I Need Is You", and a cover of Lee Hazlewood's "My Autumn's Done Come". The band launched into an extended European tour in September 2003, performing in over 100 concert halls.
No More Sweet Music
The band's fifth studio album, a double CD entitled No More Sweet Music/More Sweet Music, was released in December 2005. Both CDs include the same 11 tracks, however, they are all different versions.
Singles '96 - '06
In 2006 the band left Sony/BMG, complaining of lack of label support for No More Sweet Music. A best-of album (Singles '96 - '06) was released to end the relation with Sony/BMG. The band is now going to work without a label.
The President of the LSD Golf Club
In an interview for the Spanish TV program Nosolomusica, Alex Callier gave some hints of a new, more psychedelic orientation for the band's music. During a show in Moscow (October 2007) the band revealed the first single of the new album, "Expedition Impossible". Alex Callier told Side-Line Magazine that the new album also means an abrupt end with their previous label Sony.
Their latest album, The President of the LSD Golf Club, was released in October 2007 in Belgium and Holland. The album was released in Europe in March 2008.