Gilles Demolder is best known for playing in the Belgian metal bands Oathbreaker and Wiegedood, but now he's showing off a different side of him with his new solo project Siem Reap, whose debut album Now What? arrives November 12 via Isolation Rec (pre-order). We're premiering the video for lead single "Might As Well Stay," a haunting mix of shoegaze, slowcore, and post-rock that's just as effective as Gilles' heavier music. Here's what he says about the project:

I’ve always been writing stuff on my own, but somehow never had the motivation to push through and actually release any music publicly. I’d write a bunch of songs, record them and never really look back at it. Some stuff would end up as Oathbreaker parts. A big chunk of the ‘Rheia’ songs were originally intended to be a solo record. So by the time Oahtbreaker came to a halt in 2017, I started writing more stuff for myself again. Over the course of the next 3 years I wrote about 25 songs, and threw most of it away again, only to end up with about 8 songs I felt like sharing with this planet.

I wanted to write a record that was 100% me, by me and for me. It might seem like a self-centered idea, but I’ve never written a record that was a 100% like the way I imagine myself to be. Devoid of a ‘larger-than-life’, unearthly idea but a mundane, real album that is close to my heart. Lyrically it deals mostly with daily life, random thoughts about manliness, friendship, family and relationships, with substance (ab)use as a thread throughout the entire record.

All of the songs are recorded & performed by myself with a couple of microphones, some cheap recording gear and occasionally I’d record some things on a 4 track cassette recorder. I recorded these songs mostly in a rehearsal space, but about half of them were recorded in my living room or bedroom. ‘now what?’ & ‘godelieve’s synthesizer’ were actually just recordings I did on my phone when I got home drunk and played some stuff on an organ.

‘Might as well stay’ is about the place I live, and about how I have never enjoyed living here. It’s pretty straightforward. Daily scenes of waking up in the same place, over and over again. I have a very strange relationship with this city. It’s filled with a constant state of paranoia, anxiousness and aggression towards anyone who wants to have it. But somehow I have never had the courage to pick up my shit and leave.

It’s been a very strange last couple years. Like, in general. Strange, but good. That’s also where the title comes from. Everything that has happened in the last 4 years, personally & artistically, has been like ’okay, we got so far, and now what?’

Once he starts playing shows, his live band will feature Wim Coppers (Wiegedood), Jasper Hollevoet (Sunflower, Ventilateur), and Filip Brans (Dogpeople). Check out the new song/video below...

Tracklist
1. Might As Well Stay
2. Oh The Guilt
3. Honingkuchen
4. Now What?
5. Global Whining
6. Marialand
7. Happiness Is Other People
8. Godelieve's Synthesizer