Well everyone, as sad as we are to say it, Dutch Week is over. I don’t think we knew what exactly we were getting ourselves into (= a lot of good music) because now we wish we had more time! A Dutch Decade, perhaps. However, we had but a week, and now we have many other countries to explore (including our own)!
Before we say goodbye to the lovely Netherlands, we’d like to leave you with some more music that we discovered and didn’t have the time to review.
The Subhuman. The Subhuman is from Utrecht, Netherlands and is on the Snowstar record label. He’s a star. His music is chill–you can hear some Sufjan influence, minus a lot of the experimenting–and I like his use of the good ole casio, and the layers he creates with vocals. He also reminds me of this guy Niall Quinn who I saw perform at a pub in London, which will probably mean nothing to you, but he was pretty good, anyway. Bonus: he looks like he’d be into Dostoevsky. That’s pretty irrelevant, but whatever. Check it yo: www.myspace.com/thesubhuman
Vox Von Braun. Don’t judge, but we’re back at Subroutine for this one. Vox Von Braun reminds me a of a less folky Blitzen Trapper in their sound (until the guitar riffs)–they’ve got that unidentifiable perfect balance, where everything just works. I’m picky about sound, and they’ve found the spot where the music moves (it’s going somewhere, thank goodness), it isn’t too heavy or too dark, and it isn’t poppy twee, it’s just good freaking rock’n'roll. Way to go, guys, I’ll jam to you in my car anytime. If I can get your album, that is. www.myspace.com/voxvonbraun
Johan. Johan is on Excelsior and I like them. I kind of feel bad for liking them because they make me think of music I listened to when I was in early high school, but they’ve got a pretty solid sound, and so why not share them? www.myspace.com/johan
We Love People in Bearsuits. I told you it was coming, didn’t I? And Bearsuits is one word. How to describe them? I don’t know, what would you expect from a band with such a name? Probably that’s what you’ll get. They’re from Utrecht, Netherlands and they’re on the Badmintone record label but I’m pretty sure they’re singing/growling/yelling in German. To be quite honest, I probably wouldn’t listen to this music, you know, every day, but it’s still fun electronic indie-pop that I would dance around to. As they describe themselves, “in a deep forest somewhere in germany, three boys in bearsuits are playing music for the animals that live there, sometimes they come out of the forest to play their music for humans.” Um, will you play for me, boys? Check out their myspace: www.myspace.com/welovepeopleinbearsuits
Eric’s Picks (some of them, at least)
The Sugarettes. This is another one from the Very Sexuals family. I have been loving this music all week, but have avoided talking about it because I didn’t want Dutch Week to turn into some kind of Partridge Family orgy. But we may as well go out with one incestuous bang. Their debut Love and Other Perversities was the sexiest album of the year according to Incendiary Magazine and I am not going to argue with them. Filled with boy-girl vocals (which you know I love), hand claps, youthful exuberance, and maybe a prostitute and a porn star or two, this is one album that is immediately addicting. http://www.myspace.com/thesugarettes
NEONBELLE. We’ve been slipping it into the conversation all week, so I won’t say much about it here.This is even more from Pien Feith of, you guessed it, the Very Sexuals. Originally conceived as part of the In A Cabin With project, the trio found their sessions to be so fruitful that they will continue to work together as NEONBELLE in the future. Picture something like Feist meets Regina Spektor with Emilie Simon’s propensity for electronics and found sounds and a dash of John Adams (the composer, not the president) thrown in for good measure. Download the album at www.inacabinwith.com if you haven’t already. http://www.myspace.com/weareneonbelle
Hit Me TV. Singer Jaap, of Hit Me TV probably could have fronted any number of hair bands back in the 80s, were he more than 10 years old at the time (which I am fairly certain he wasn’t). Think the drive of the Killers’ Hot Fuss with less synth, more funky guitar work, and freaking powerful vocals. Maybe something of a cross between early Killers and Scissor Sisters, with more than a dash of danceable 80s power pop. If you’re a freak like me, may even be able to hear a bit of the Rumble Strips here and there. (I am seriously weird, though.) I freaking love this. http://www.myspace.com/hitmetv
Hospital Bombers. The name sounds ominous, I know, but I have it on good authority that Hospital Bombers are the best band in the Netherlands at the moment. Since I live way over here in Not the Netherlands, I will have to take his word for it. The quality of the music would seem to support his opinion. They have a seriously tight sound often reminiscent of the garage rock of the late 60s complete with Hammond B3, or like the Doors but faster and sober and with a girl. I like girls. I also like Hospital Bombers (five words you should never utter at an airport). Check out “The Devil’s Music” and “Neighbourhood”. http://www.myspace.com/hospitalbombersatmyspace
Skipper. Still more from Subroutine (can you tell we really, really, REALLY like them?) It’s very Phil Spector (without the crazy wigs and, presumably, murder conviction) with, yet again that vintage 60s aesthetic, at times reminiscent of the Beach Boys, see “Wasted”. Overall, there is a pervading and not at all unwelcome sweetness running through the five tracks posted on Myspace. It’s kind of trippy and really cool. http://www.myspace.com/skippermuzik
As I am sure you have probably deduced, for each band listed in this entry, there are about a dozen we have been forced to leave off the list. We would love to tell you about them, really, we would, but we have already passed 1,000 and if you haven’t stopped reading yet, you are probably at least ready to curl up and take a nice long nap. We will just have to get to these bands and more in greater detail in future posts. We hope that this last Dutch Week post will enrich your beautiful lives with some more beautiful music! And, we hope it will equip you, as it has us, to live every week like it’s Dutch Week.