Steve French

There’s nothing Steve French rather does than writing songs and chasing desolate gas stations on the way to yet another dark stage. And back. On the thin edge between Car Seat Headrest and The Strokes is where Steve humms along with Modest Mouse’s The Lonesome Crowded West. When Steve ended up in an existential crisis in a Scottish suburb, he wrote it away with yet another song on fading friendships and naïve romanticism. Three years of riff-filled rocksongs and secretly catchy choruses is now collected on debut album Lightning Tiger Running. The album will be released in june on – as usual for an underexposed Dutch guitar-driven record – Subroutine Records. On this record, Steve talks about ghosts on graveyards and neverending busrides, secretly knowing that behind the horizon there’s always some form of hope.

SONNDR

As night falls, SONNDR begins to stir. A four-headed creature of the night with a keen ear for street sounds: the clatter of rolling shutters coming down, breaking glass, buzzing neon, rain drumming on the roof of a car. In this world of steel and concrete, nothing is as it seems. Headlights cast long shadows on crumbling facades, screens light up in the dark, a shop-window reflects an unfamiliar face. Behind the scenes of this Lynchian setting we find Florian Veenhuis, Glenn Kessler, Aswin van der As, and Joris Telgen. As SONNDR they translate post punk and no wave to a futuristic sound that tears and claws. With repetitive, propelling rhythms, layered noise, and acute lyrics, they express the paranoia of urban alienation. Those echoing voices, where do they come from? SONNDR holds up a mirror that reflects and distorts our reality. Any moment now, it could shatter into pieces.

Moon Moon Moon

“If you can’t win, sing about losing as well as you can”, is a quote that best describes the self-reflective and tragicomical indie pop by Moon Moon Moon. It’s no coincidence that this quote is by founder Mark Lohmann, who explores bits of everyday life with the relentless honesty. His hyperrealistic songs take you on a strangely relatable journey through personal and impactful moments in his life. Sometimes painful, but always ending on a hopeful note.  

The Mighty Breaks

Known for their high energy live shows, The Mighty Breaks’ weapons of choice are fuzzy guitars and the, for a garage band, unusual addition of saxophone. All five band members sing, giving each track a different feel. The Mighty Breaks’ garage pop/90’s alternative sound is inspired by artists like Guided By Voices, The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Dandy Warhols.

The Mighty Breaks released their self-titled debut EP on UK/NL based label Mink Records last year and subsequently toured the Netherlands and Italy. The past few months the band has focused on developing its sound and experimenting in a studio setting, and finally recording with Tijmen van Wageningen and Domenico Mangione at Basement Studio in The Hague. Single ‘Faking Chasing’ (16/5) provided a first taste of the new material, released digitally and accompanied by a video premiered at Noisey. The track was featured in Spotify’s ‘Fresh Finds: Six Strings’, ‘New Alternative’ and ‘Independent Music Monday’. The band was tipped by blogs like UK’s Drowned in Sound, Japan’s Niche Music and Berlin-based Smoke and Echoes. ‘Quitting For A Smoke’ is the second of a string of singles the band will put out in advance of the release of their debut album, expected in 2019.

King Champion Sounds

King Champion Sounds are an Anglo/Dutch band who have made some of the best, most adventurous, and original records anywhere in the last 5 years and have gone on to play blazing live shows all around Europe. They are set to release their fourth album in November 2018 on Excelsior Recordings, and the European tour in support of this album will see them play in Amsterdam for the last show of the tour. The music has, once again, been written by Ajay Saggar (who also works with “The Common Cold” and “Deutsche Ashram”) and lyrical master is G.W.Sok (who was the former singer of “The Ex”).

The third album (“To Awake In That Heaven Of Freedom”), was met with critical acclaim. Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant awarded it 5 stars calling the album “a musical masterpiece”. Electronic Sound called it “an utterly fearless and absorbing album”. Dutch music magazine OOR said of it “what a trip!”. The songs are varied and take in elements of post-punk, dub, free jazz, free folk, electronica, soundscapes.

The live shows are a spectacular happening. Highly energetic, swinging, and able to turn any room into a dancehall. Well known UK comedian / writer, Stewart Lee, had this to say: “What if The Fall had garnished their rockabilly grooves with swing-era horns? What if Can played Ghanaian highlife? What if Morricone had scored spaghetti westerns in a Moroccan souk? King Champion Sounds recombine canonical influences in new contexts and bring forth one of the best live shows you are witness”. (SUNDAY TIMES / Stewart Lee)

Scram C Baby

Take 5 people from the Amsterdam, put them in the Vondelbunker Et voilà: you have Scram C Baby’s best album from its 26th anniversary.

“Give Us A Kiss” is an album on which all the qualities of the band shine brighter than ever. The godfathers of the Dutch indie still have it all: songs, sound and soul. The craziness and playfulness are still there, but they are implied in a smarter way, making the songs more rewarding. This time the band has been making music and arguing until twelve chosen songs could be compressed into one lump of granite. Coarse and refined, brightly colored.

The Small Breed

The Small Breed is a five-member psychedelic pop band inspired by the magical music that was made in the late 60s. Born from the succesfull Dutch beat/rhytm and blues group the Black Marble Selection, the Small Breed went on a search for a more rich and diverse sound. Their songs are variated, full of surprising harmonies and instruments and therefor very interesting to listen to. The use of vocal effects, harpsichord and even flute makes listening to The Small Breed a dreamy experience.

Their first, selftitled EP contains five variated tracks, recorded at PAF! Studio in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The producers in charge, Dave von Raven (leadsinger The Kik) and Marcel Fakkers made it possible for the Small Breed to get the most out of their skills and variation in sound to made them record this psychedelic piece.

Mark Lada’s Golden Arches

Onder de naam Golden Arches komt Mark Lada, frontman van traumahelikopter, voor het eerst met Nederlandstalig solowerk. Hierbij wordt hij bijgestaan door leden van onder meer Afterpartees, Mozes and the Firstborn en PAUW.

Met traumahelikopter brengt Mark Lada het garagerock-genre in Nederland al sinds het titelloze debuutalbum uit 2013 eigenhandig naar een hoger niveau, wat ook in het buitenland niet onopgemerkt blijft: de band brengt z’n tweede LP uit op het Californische Burger Records en tourt uitgebreid door binnen- en buitenland met shows op onder meer Lowlands, Best Kept Secret, SXSW en Gonerfest.

Waar bij traumahelikopter de gestripte set-up van twee gitaren en een half drumstel een tour de force blijkt, wil Lada ook eens iets anders proberen. Hiervoor besluit hij bevriende artiesten uit te nodigen. Mark: “Het leek me interessant om muzikanten die ik de afgelopen jaren heb leren kennen bij het project te betrekken, om ideeën aan te dragen en mee te komen spelen”.

Voor Mark Lada’s Golden Arches schrijft en zingt hij voor het eerst in het Nederlands. Lada:“Ik had mezelf als doel gesteld om in ieder geval één Nederlandstalig nummer op te nemen, omdat ik dit nog nooit eerder had gedaan. Het zorgde meteen voor de spanning waar ik naar op zoek was. Toen heb ik besloten om alles in het Nederlands te schrijven”.

De liedjes worden gedeeld op Marks nieuwe online platform Ladaland waar naast de Golden Arches-singles ook podcasts, video’s en meer zullen verschijnen.

Mark Lada’s Golden Arches zijn:
Mark Lada (traumahelikopter)
Roel Blommers (PAUW)
Ernst-Jan van Doorn (Mozes and the Firstborn)
Sjors Driessen (Afterpartees)
Kilian Kayser (Steve French)

la loye

The unconditionally love from la loye’s indiefolk is both subtle and layered. With whispering vocals and dark instrumentation, the band forms an intimate scenery in which the personal lyrics of songwriter Lieke Heusinkveld about the fear of growing up and the art of being alone are paramount.

The band is both unpolished and modest without renouncing the melancholy that embraces the music. la loye is the kind of band that wraps you in a large warm blanket, and tells you everything will be fine.

The Tambles

If you look quickly it might seem like The Tambles stepped out of a time machine. Besides that the boys look like extras from a 60’s cult film, their garage rock also sounds like an oiled engine of a classic Chevrolet Camaro at full speed.

You might already know the boys as the backing band from Jerry Hormone, from their successful tribute to The Velvet Underground with, among others, Maurits Westerik, Henk Koorn and Carol van Dijk as their guest musicians or as one of the most booked bands from Popronde 2018 with no fewer than 27 shows.

This fall the band will release their debut album through the Spanish Bickerton Records with which they promise to bring you back to 1966.