Originally founded in beautiful Amsterdam, the rising indie duo Donna Blue — romantic couple and muses, Danique van Kesteren and Bart van Dalen — quickly established a dreamy and cinematic sound seemingly influenced by Phil Spector, Wall of Sound-like pop, Pasty Cline, yè yè and David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks with the release of 2017’s self-titled debut, which featured “Sunset Blvd,” a track that received airplay on Elton John’s Apple Music radio show Rocket Hour.
Back in 2020, Dutch indie label, Snowstar Records, released the duo’s self-produced and self-recorded five-song EP Inbetween saw the duo continuing upon the sound that quickly won them attention nationally and internationally — while also drawing from Roy Orbison, Julee Cruise, Nancy Sinatra, Patsy Cline. The end result was an effort that evokes late nights wandering narrow European streets, daydreaming in smokey cafes, sitting in bars reflecting on your life while nursing a drink. Personally, the EP’s material immediately brings back very specific memories: walking through Amsterdam’s Centrum and Red Light Districts late at night, the prostitutes summoning men with a wink and a wry smile, and passing drunk revelers on the street; and walking through Frankfurt-am-Main’s Haupwatche and Romer Districts with the surreal and lonely ache of being a foreigner.
Donna Blue’s highly-anticipated full-lengths but Dark Roses is slated for a May 13, 2022 release through Snowstar Records. The album is reportedly features 11 dreamy and cinematic tracks that feel like a film score for a romantic, film noir. While playing with the feeling of being alive, yet in a carefully sculpted parallel world, the album’s material finds the duo taking on a decidedly twangy Western sound inspired by Ennio Morricone, Piero Piccioni and John Barry paired with dreamily sensual vocals.
Dark Roses‘ fourth and latest single “The Beginning” is a slow-burning, lush, and cinematic track centered around shimmering and twangy guitars, soaring keys, propulsive, hi-hat driven rhythms paired with van Kesteren’s aching vocal. Fittingly, “The Beginning” sounds as though it should be part of the opening credits of a gorgeously shot and surreal film set in the Amsterdam or Berlin suburbs that’s one part social commentary, one part Romantic mediation, one part love story and one part psychedelic freak out.