With the exception of Armin van Buuren, DJ Tiësto, 2 Unlimited, Golden Earring and George Baker, hardly any Dutch music acts/bands are known internationally. This is a real shame as there are lots of bands out there that deserve international recognition. Therefore I’m sharing with you in this post four Dutch bands you should know!
1. De Staat
My number one Dutch band and also one of the most successful ones. It started as a solo project by singer Torre Florim who recorded the debut album with guest musicians in his own home when he was just a teenager. They took the Netherlands by storm in 2008 and haven’t stopped ever since. Their music is a curious combination of rock, techno, freaky beats and many obscure music genres.*
The first ever interview on this blog was with De Staat. You can read it here.
The music video below is for ‘Witch Doctor’, one of my favourite De Staat tracks. Not so sure about the video though (although it’s been voted as number 2 video of 2015 by Laut.de).
Torre’s cover of ‘Firestarter’ has been used for the video game Just Cause 3 and received kudos from The Prodigy. Also ‘Downtown’ by De Staat is part of the soundtrack to video game FIFA 14.
The band’s fourth album O is out on 15 January 2016. They’re also playing an international tour and are returning to London on 17 March. See the complete tour list here.
Personally quite a surprising choice as I’m usually quite allergic to the term ‘singer-songwriter’. After hearing Blaudzun’s song ‘Promises of No Man’s Land’ (see video below) on Dutch radio a few years ago I was sold immediately and even bought that album. His music and voice sometimes remind me of bands such as Arcade Fire and The National, but darker and moodier (perfect for me!).
When I first heard Kovacs on Dutch radio I thought she was an American singer. Her amazing single ‘My Love’ was like a gothic-y Lana del Rey and her warm powerful voice actually reminded me of Dalbello (for those youngsters out there reading this post: she had a big hit in the 80s with ‘Tango’) and Natasha Schneider of the band Eleven (who played with the likes of Chris Cornell and Queens of the Stone Age).
It wasn’t till last summer that a friend of mine in the Netherlands told me that Sharon Kovacs is actually a young Dutch girl from Eindhoven, a city that’s very close to where I used to live. She recorded her album with renowned Dutch music producer Oscar Holleman who’s actually from the same small Dutch town where I used to live. Small world! Last year the Netherlands went insane for Kovacs and I predict she’s going to be BIG!
Speaking of Oscar Holleman: in the 90s he also produced the album Cascade by Cascade, the band of my good friends Eric, Patrick, Rudi and Frank. After the release they had playtime on the radio, had an international tour and had their video played on TMF, ‘the Dutch MTV’.
Eventually the band broke up, but a few years ago Eric, Patrick and Rudi went back into the studio and recorded a few new tracks which they produced themselves. My gorgeous friend Frédérique de Beer (singer of Chigurh) added the vocals to my favourite track ‘Heads on Fire’. Unfortunately there’s no music video for it (yet), but you can listen to it on Soundcloud via the link below. I really think it has the potential for a hit single! 🙂
Here is the video ‘Why the Wake’ by Cascade featuring a Kevin Spacey lookalike in the end. It’s not the high definition version for the video, but try if you can spot me!
What do you think of these four music choices?
If you have any music recommendations you think I should know, please let me know!
*I am no good with music genres, as long as it falls in the general genres of rock, pop and electronic, it’s good to me.
If you liked this post, you might also be interested in the following articles:
Interview with Graham Massey: 808 State and the Development of Record-making
My Favourite Music Scenes in Films
One thought on “4 Dutch Bands You Should Know”