Tag: The Hague The Netherlands

Emerging The Hague, The Netherlands-based dream pop duo Maida Rose — songwriting partners Roos Meijer and Javièr den Leeuw — have spent the past five years writing and recording material in the attic of den Leeuw’s childhood home. And this year, they began sharing their songs with the world: Informed by the duo’s own adolescent experiences, their material lyrically and thematically touches upon love (both old and new), their struggles with depression and other related feelings and sensations.

The duo released “Within” earlier this year, and they’ve followed up with their least single “Every Day Is Blue,” a hook-driven bit of playful dream pop centered around shimmering guitars, a sinuous, feel good groove and Meijer’s coquettish vocals and an ironically melancholy melody. Sonically, their newest single will continue a run of material that will draw comparisons to the likes of Cigarettes After Sex, Beach House and others, “Every Day Is Blue” is a playful song about not feeling understood while suffering from depression.

“Depression is something that is hard to grasp if you’ve never suffered from it. I remember that I found it really challenging to communicate with friends and family who clearly had no idea of what it was like,” Maida Rose’s Roos Meijer explains. “They tried their best to say the right thing and to cheer me up, but it sometimes felt like they were unconsciously trivialising the state that I was in.”

“At the time the only thing that you want to do is curl up underneath a blanket and dissapear. I think deep down you know that this won’t do any good, but it’s a piece of knowledge that you’re trying to ignore.

“That’s why we decided to make the song quite playful; to highlight the contrast within. It’s almost a bit rebellious, which is an attitude that I remember vividly from adolescence, which is the main theme of the whole [upcoming] album.”

The duo is putting on the finishing touches on their self-produced full-length debut Tales of Adolescence, which is slated for release early next year.

Pieter Herweijer is an emerging, 28 year-old, The Hague-based electronic music DJ and producer, who specializes in EDM, tech house and neo-disco. His latest single “But I Like It” is self-assured club friendly, deep house banger centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, skittering beats and a soulful vocal sample — and sonically, the song manages to bring Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves to mind but with a subtly Middle Eastern vibe.

Over the past 18 months or so, I’ve written quite about the Utrecht, The Netherlands-based singer/songwriter Annelotte de Graff and her solo recording project Amber Arcades, and as you may recall with the release of her full-length debut Fading Light, de Graaf received international attention for an album that thematically focused on the and the relativistic experience of it, magic, jet lag and her own dreams, which have managed to influence much of her personal and creative life; in fact, as the story goes, De Graaf used her life savings for a flight to New York and studio time to record her debut with Ben Greenberg, who has worked with The Men, Beach Fossils and Destruction Unit, and a studio backing band that included Quilt’s Shane Butler (guitar) and Keven Lareau (bass) and Real Esate’s Jackson Pollis (drums) — both of whom she had specifically hand picked because she had dreamt of working with them. Along with that, De Graaf had a long-held dream of working for the UN, and she eventually worked as a legal aide on UN war crime tribunals and n human rights and immigration law, assisting Syrian refugees.

Last year, saw the release of the critically applauded Cannonball EP, which was among my favorite releases last year — in particular, the gorgeously shot video for “Wouldn’t Even Know,” which featured a guest spot from British singer/songwriter, composer, producer and guitarist  Bill Ryder-Jones brought back memories of riding trains through the Dutch countryside from Amsterdam to Dordrecht, passing through and by towns like Abcoude, The Hague, Breukelen and others. Along with that, EP singles like “It Changes” and her cover of Nick Drake’s “Which Will,” revealed a singer/songwriter with an self-assured yet uncanny knack for a catchy hook within jangling guitar pop.

De Graaf’s latest single “Goodnight Europe” is the first taste of her forthcoming sophomore, full-length album slated for release later this year, and the single finds the renowned Dutch singer/songwriter’s sound leaning heavily towards Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, T. Rex and Sgt. Pepper and Let It Be-era Beatles, as the song features some impressive and bluesy guitar work paired with a gorgeous string arrangement — and the song manages to further cement De Graaf’s ability to craft a razor sharp hook around some thoughtful songwriting; in fact, the song is a meditation on the current state of the European Union, written from the perspective of a dysfunctional and confusing romantic relationship that’s inescapably odd. As De Graaf explains in press notes, “I guess about half of it is me actually being worried about the current state of the Union. The other half is me kind of messing around with, and making fun of, this archetype of the tiresome existentialist academic in me.”

New Audio: Icelandic Trio Samaris Releases a Seductive and Tense New Single That Reveals an Expansion of Their Sound

Comprised of Þórður Kári “Doddi” Steinþórsson (producton),  Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir (clarinet) and Jófríður  the  Icelandic act Samaris have received national and international attention for minimalist electronic production paired with lyrics that drew from 19th century Icelandic poetry; however, after a […]