Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: Memories of Melancholic Doom and Sexy Dutch Pop from Amber Arcades

Annelotte de Graaf introduces us to some of the best melodies coming out of Holland.

This week’s Talkhouse Weekend Playlist comes from Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf of Amber Arcades. Annelotte helps us get the weekend started with smart chord progressions and proper songwriting from bands around Holland, ranging from contemporary jangly pop-rock to the Dutch folk that her mom used to play her when she was a child. Check out her debut album, Fading Lines, out June 3 via Heavenly Recordings, and have a great weekend! 
–The editors of Talkhouse Music

Eerie Wanda — “I am Over Here”
These guys have some of the best songs that I can think of in terms of smart chord progressions, melodies, harmonies, proper songwriting stuff. Think hanging out on a tropical beach somewhere by yourself and letting life’s big questions float by with the slight breeze.

Vox Von Braun — “You Look Real Neat”
These guys are legends in my mind. They’ve been going at it for ages. They’re from the very North of Holland and somehow the rest of the country is too lazy/preoccupied to recognize their genius to a full extent. They don’t really seem to care, though, they just keep on murmuring on. I heard they’re working on a new record, so, knowing them, it will be out sometime during the next decade. Can’t wait!

Ohslo — “Driven”
So many cool things happening in the North of our country these days. I imagine that if Karin Dreijer Andersson were more R&B-inclined she would come up with something like this tune.

Rats of Rafts — “Last Day On Earth”
This is one of my favorite Dutch bands to see live at the moment. Their live energy is incredible. I’ve tried to approach them after a gig to tell them how awesome I think their music is but I think they don’t really care about any of that (if people like them or not) and somehow that turns me into even more of a fan-girl.

Boudewijn de Groot — “Eva”
My mum used to play me this song so much when I was little. It’s in Dutch so you probably won’t understand what it’s about, but that’s OK. I can technically understand the words, but I don’t really know what it’s about, either. I think it’s a long acid trip about paradise, Adam and Eve, God, feminism, angels with knifes… The chord progressions and melodies are so beautiful, though.

Blue Crime — “Sun is a Star”
Also one of my fave bands to see live. Total badassery all around. Somehow their music takes me back to when I was a sixteen-year-old goth girl listening to female-fronted melancholic doom metal. These guys are way cooler, though, than I ever was as a goth.

Young & Sick ‎— “Magnolia”
This guy actually moved away from the Netherlands to L.A. a while ago, I believe, but I’m still counting him as a Dutch musician. Super sweet Timberlake-esque sexy pop. This is one of my favorite songs to shamelessly sing along to while riding my bike to the station on an early morning in rush hour.

Naive Set — “Rabbits”
Perfect sunny and jangly poprock with kind of a nineties feel. I’m always happy when we play a gig together with these guys so I can sit in front and sing along to their tunes. Good times.

I Am Oak — “Palpable”
These guys don’t sound like any other band I know. Although they’re known to use banjos and typical folk instrumentation, I can’t really see it as folk. More as acoustic doom or slow-core. Best place I’ve listened to it so far is while driving in the highlands in Scotland. But your bedroom will do fine, too.

Sevdaliza — “Clean Air”
The Dutch are famous for their down-to-earth, “just act normal and then you’re weird enough” attitude and I blame that on the lack of full-blown pop stars we have in this country. This lady is the only hope we have right now to get anything close to our own Dutch Rihanna/Bey/Lady Gaga and we deserve one!


Photo credit: Nick Helderman