The US makes way for Dutch folk rock
Name: Blaudzun (Bless you!..sorry couldn’t help it) aka Johannes Sigmond
Where he’s from: Utrecht, Netherlands
When He Started: 2008
Genre: Indie folk rock
Most Similar: The Decemberists, Arcade Fire
Sounds Like: Pub music, for the end of a particularly dramatic day
Blaudzun may have an icy stare and a mouthful of a name for Americans, but the continent is still warming up to his new album Heavy Flowers, which is slated for US release in January. In the meantime, the singer/songwriter is playing US dates, getting US buzz, and garnering all kinds of comparisons to the anthemic, North American folk rock pantheon.
His single, “Elephants” has gotten the most play, with its charming wall-of-sound pulse, alt-90s earnestness, and the Neil Young-esque tenor of Johannes himself. It pretty much encapsulates that strong, goosebump-inducing indie rock mood of 2004 when Arcade Fire dropped Funeral unto the world and rose the bar to unprecedented heights. Heavy Flowers varies greatly from song to song, though, from accordion thumping pirate folk to a cover of “Redemption Song” to a more introspective, 60s folk. There’s something for everyone, so long as you’re still a fan of instruments in your music.
Heavy Flowers is actually Blaudzun’s it third album. He’s been steadily rising the ranks in the Netherlands for years with a self-titled debut, and his beloved second album Seadrift Soundmachine. This latest effort is his shot at a global name, and in light of a Santos Party House show in New York tomorrow and the international press, he’s well on his way.
Hear his single “Elephants,” but be sure to stream some of his other tracks for a full sampling.