K's Choice tours behind Echo Mountain

Do you remember 90s and early 2000s Belgium-based band K’s Choice? Their brand of emotional alt-rock played perfectly along with the Lilith Fair soundtrack of the late 90s and their hit song “Not an Addict” was featured in the cult classic Wild Things starring Neve Campbell and Denise Richards.

After more than a decade away, K’s choice released Echo Mountain and an acoustic companion album, Little Echoes, overseas in 2010/11 and in the U.S. in late 2012. After a successful run of European dates, K’s Choice kicks off an acoustic North American tour next week in Johnson City, Tennessee.

“The reception has been really good,” singer Sarah Bettens said of reuniting with K’s Choice. “It’s kinda hard to gauge after you’ve been gone for a while but we’re so lucky to have very loyal fans who are curious and open to what we’re going to do next.”

While K’s Choice may have been on hiatus, Bettens has not been absent from the music scene. In 2005 she released her first full-length solo album Scream. She’s also released several EPs and a live album consisting of performances of K’s Choice songs and her own solo tunes.

One of the biggest changes for Bettens has been motherhood. Bettens is mother to two step-children and two adopted children with her partner. “Motherhood has changed everything,” Bettens admitted. “Being a parent all of a sudden—not all of the responsibilities but basically how your focus changes—has affected me so much as a person. I can’t imagine it hasn’t affected my songwriting. All of a sudden you are responsible for someone else’s life and future and while it’s a lot of work it’s the highest high you can imagine.”

Between motherhood and her solo runs, Bettens recognizes her musical evolution over the last 15 years. “I think the changes that we’ve made and the way in which we’ve grown have come natural with the music you listen to as you get older. When I listen to an old K’s choice record now, it’s not like I don’t have pride in the things that we’ve done, but at the same time that was a really long time ago. I was in a different space. I wrote about different things. I like to think every time we make a record it’s better than the last one and we’re growing in the right direction.”

Mission accomplished. Echo Mountain is just as good—if not better—than anything K’s Choice has done in the past. Bettens points to the track “Killing Dragons” as one of her favorite tracks from the album. Written by her brother Gert, Bettens describes “Killing Dragons” as a “song that broke my heart the first time I heard it.” Other highlights from the album include an ode to that age where love seems to be the greatest “Sixteen”, “America”, “Say a Prayer” and “Along for the Ride”.

Echo Mountain’s acoustic companion Little Echoes features stripped down versions of the album’s tracks but also some surprising covers. “The cover songs were super fun to do. It’s something that we’ve never done before. We’ve played covers live but it sometimes a risk to venture on a record with a cover song.” Risk or not, K's Choice soars on covers such as “I’m so Excited” by the Pointer Sisters and “Cannonball” by Damien Rice.

It’s fitting that K’s Choice kicks off their tour in Johnson City, as Bettens and her partner have called Tennessee home for more than ten years. While Bettens was not initially sold on the idea of living in Tennessee, she now proudly calls it her home.

“In the beginning when we lived here I felt that this was not a great place for us,” Bettens admitted. “Anyplace that I cannot just hold hands with my partner, not that we have to walk around like that all day long, but just knowing that you can’t does not feel good. But so much has changed here. We’ve made so many great friends here and once people get to know you, they just don’t care. The bigotry that still exists in the south is becoming old-fashioned and for old, backwards people. I feel that the young community here or people in touch with the world just don’t care that much anymore. It’s nice to have witnessed things changing here.”

An opinion we’d love to hear echoed from all of Tennessee’s mountains.

Check out K's Choice when they play Johnson City, Tennessee Monday May 22nd. Can't make it to Johnson City? Find out how you can still see the show here.

For more information on K’s Choice, visit them on the web or 'like' them on Facebook.

Photos by Frank Clauwers


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