on 7 April 2008
Musically this is art-pop at its best. It was recorded in a very basic way direct on two track with the whole band (3 guys, 1 gal:) plus a few special guests (most notable one on pedalsteel) playing inside their spacious rehearsal building. It also meant that the whole thing was mixed directly as it went to tape, which in fact made their engineer almost the fifth member of the band (hey, that happened before in music history :-). This also meant that if anything went wrong during the recording and they had to stop playing, they simply had to do it all over again. Talking about putting the pressure on yourself. But instead playing it all as safe as possible, they took to challenge and tried as much as they could to make everything sound as different as possible. For the progrock afficionados: the keyboardplayer of the Nits is former Supersister keysman Robert-Jan Stips.
And then you have the lyrics and that is why I said that only Dutch people can 'get': the words are chockfull of imagery that almost instantenously transports me back to my childhood during the mid to late 70s. The lyrics have a very childlike, magical atmosphere that is simply entrancing.
I was first introduced to this fantastic song by recommendation many years ago.
Now that could never be said to an attractive name could it?
But when you play in the Dutch Mountains the song is one of those that really grabs you from the start. The vocalist has a really great voice and the music has a wonderful sound and beat. It's foreign to the English Ear and yet you know it is really good. Then there is the lyrics from the start
'I was born in a valley of bricks
Where the river runs high above the rooftops
I was waiting for the cars coming home late at night'
The fact that they are so clear that you can hear and understand them where with other groups you struggle to get the gist of what is being said.
(For example consider the Skids 'Into the Valley'. I love that song but have no idea what it is about nor what is being sung 'Peas sure sound devine???')
What does it all mean? The Dutch have no mountains- yeah we get the rest?
So these guys are singing from the reference of their nationality the Dutch.
Now bear with me here. I listen to a whole lot of America groups like Tom Petty, Dylan and others who sing songs with references to Americana which although I understand the words don't quite.. not quite get the references 'Drove the Chevy to to the levee' type stuff.
Now I know what a Chevy is and a levvee but do you really understand what the reference is to the levee- a synonym for holding back perhaps?? Right I may be totally wrong too.
I think, and I think when I say this I am flattering myself I 'get' most of the lyrics. 'The moon was coin with the head of a Queen' for example..
But that aside their is that wonderful music and beat that leads and yet you know where it is leading to.
heck I found out today after 30 odd years that the bass player was a woman!!
Try to get to you Tube and play the track and I am sure that like me you will be captivated buy this single and be back to buy it.