Steve Leon & The Accusations

Alternative Country-Folk from Belgium

Bild "steveleon_artist.jpg"Steve Leon & The Accusations are an alternative country band from Antwerp, Belgium, founded by songwriter and guitar player Steve Leon Michielsen. Their sound is a combination of influences from new wave and indie with the orchestration of a country or folk band. The result is often reminiscent of the illustrious Paisley Underground movement, which flourished in the mid-80s in Northern California and produced bands such as The Dream Syndicate, The Long Ryders and Green on Red (or Chuck Prophet solo). Steve Leon & The Accusation put their own spin on this recipe by adding a touch of the comforting darkness often associated with English acts like Teardrop Explodes, The Sound, The Only Ones or Echo & The Bunnymen.
How did this band come to be? After years as a sideman in punk and indie bands, Steve decided to finally do something with his love of country and folk music. He started writing, initially just for his own sake.
It wasn’t long before Steve ’s wife Mila added her touch on harmony vocals as well as violin, mandolin and guitar. The first demos were recorded and as soon as the pandemic settled down, Steve invite a group of skilled musicians who share his background and, above all, his love of country & folk. Together, they fleshed out the songs and they’ve been performing as The Accusations ever since. Steve Leon & The Accusations consist of: Steve Leon (vocals & guitar), Mila Francis (vocals, violin, mandolin & guitar), Kristof Van de Vliet (bass), Yannick Hermans (guitar), Bouke Cools (pedal steel & banjo) and Tim Martens (drums).
During the summer of 2022, the band recorded their debut EP “Louche”. It will be released as a 12” vinyl on the German label Off Label Records, distributed by Broken Silence Sonic Rendezvous. Of course, the record will also be available through all streaming and download-platforms.
“Louche” was recorded and produced by Steve in his own analogue studio. The recordings were made on a 16-track tape recorder, without using any computers in the production process. Steve’s philosophy is that this way of working makes the band really focus on playing together and also preserves some of the human imperfections. The songs have been recorded as honestly as possible and sound therefore very close to the band’s live sound. The artwork has been created by Mila, who aside from her musical activities, is also a professional visual artist.
The EP is preceded by the video- and single release of the first track, “Don’t let anyone in”, a moody song that describes the sense of powerlessness you experience in a relationship with someone struggling with depression and mental illness.
A recurring theme throughout Steve’s lyrics is the tension between people and the truth. He is endlessly fascinated by the way people tend to get stuck in patterns for years by lying to themselves; or the way a sudden realisation can lead to dilemmas and conflict, both within personal relationships or in their interaction with society as a whole. Being truthful with yourself and others demands courage, discipline and insight, yet it is not always appreciated or appropriate. This theme weaves itself through all of Steve’s writing.
The “Louche” EP by Steve Leon & The Accusations presents 5 forceful songs that blend familiar influences into a unique and fresh sound. It’s almost as if Laurel Canyon would lie just north of London, but in the early 80s: Indie songs in a country-folk disguise.