003 – Annelotte De Graaf (Amber Arcades)

Amber Arcades ist das Projekt der niederländischen Musikerin Annelotte De Graaf. Auf ihrem 2016 bei Heavenly Records erschienenen Debüt Album "Fading Lines" verschmilzt Annelotte klassisches, folkiges Songwriting mit eher sphärischen Einflüssen. Man erinnert sich beim Hören an "Haha Sound" von Broadcast, an Alvvays oder gar an Stereolab. Spacepop ist hier wohl der richtige Begriff. Kritiker und Fans waren von der Platte begeistert. Und so auch ich. 

Am 28.09. erschien nun das zweite Album "European Heartbreak", ebenfalls auf Heavenly. Der Sound hat sich zwar etwas verändert - Bläser und Streicher sind zu hören, alles ist etwas größer - dennoch weiß man, wem man hier gerade zuhört. "European Heartbreak" ist ein wunderbar optimistisches Album mit bittersüßen Texten und cleveren Arrangements. - Martin 

“If it were called American Heartbreak, you wouldn’t bat an eye. Somehow calling it European Heartbreak feels far less comfortable, almost like a statement in itself. I’m Dutch, hence European. The focus of the record is Europe. As for Heartbreak, for me a heartbreak symbolises any kind of falling apart of one of these concepts or stories we invent for ourselves, like romantic love, a sense of identity, nationality, an economic system. It’s kind of a universal thing in my mind.” - Annelotte De Graaf

 

DIE LISTE

What Annelotte says: 
1. Sharon van Etten – Give out

This is my number one break up song. I’ve internalized it completely singing and playing it over and over again in the middle of a bad break up.

2. David Axelrod – The Warnings Part I

David Axelrod made this intriguinig album called Earth Rot which is basically a cantata for the planet, or, in his own words: “contemporary music with ancient yet timely words set to the theme of ecology”. I’m pretty doom-minded myself in terms of where this planet is headed and can find some weird form of comfort in this record.

3. Karen Dalton – Something’s On Your Mind

Karen Dalton is like the godmother of sad songs… Just listen to that world-weary voice and tell me there is no beauty in sadness. Her life story is almost as heart breaking as her songs, I won’t give away spoilers but let’s say it puts your everyday troubles into some perspective.

4. Bulgarian State Television Female Choir – Stani MiMayto

I saw a Bulgarian choir perform live at a festival last year and was hypnotized for the full concert, just drenged in this beautiful sadness. I have no idea what they are singing about, but the melodies and their voices are the purest form of otherworldly melancholy.

5. Natalie Prass – Lost

This is one of my recent favs to sing along to shamelessly when that certain brand of sadness strikes. Love is weird. Feelings are weird. People are weird. Life is weird. And then the universe. I can’t even. What can you do but sing along to songs like this, amirite?

6. Jonathan Richman – True Love Is Not Nice

This song just has some of the best lyrics about the pain that is being in love. Super dry, humorous and on point. “Oh, pain, pain, ain’t that just love’s name”. Ain’t that just the truth. True love is the worst thing that can happen to you.

7. Kane Strang – My Smile Is Extinct

Best sad song title ever? Possibly. Also try singing along to this chorus: “I said kill me now, I want to die, I heard there's a chance at an afterlife, I might not get let in, But at least I won't be living” I know I know it’s dark but honestly it’s also just so catchy and cathartic to sing along to.

8. Nap Eyes – Every Time The Feeling

This one goes deep, more into the existential crisis kindamood. Although it does have a positive note, too: “Oh I can't tell what's worse: The meaninglessness or the negative meaning. But I figured out a way to get on with my life and to keep on dreaming”. That’s pretty much the place I’m trying to get to right now. To confront the total emptiness that is life sometimes, but to also keep dreaming.

9. Beck – Ramona

Honestly I don’t really know what Beck is singing about in this song exactly… The lyrics are quite vague.. But that chorus melody though. I don’t know why but I get the best sad goose bumps every time I put it on. 

10. ABBA – The Winner Takes It All

ABBA are the kings and queens of writing the most poppy, catchy sounding songs that still deal with the saddest topics. Basically their whole break-up is documented in their songs. This one is a case in point. Over the top pop production and brilliant hooks can’t disguise the heartbreak that’s all over this song.