The Blue Van

Dear Independence (TVT)

Phases & Stages

The Blue Van

Dear Independence (TVT)

The Blue Van likes it retro: guitar, harmonies, and organ – lots of organ. Yet Dear Independence, the Dutch quartet's sophomore effort, plays out less like a Nuggets comp – as heard on the British invasion of 2005's debut The Art of Rolling – and more like a measured R&B rave-up. The hirsute foursome has swagger hammered of the gods, from the shot-clock tick of the opening "The Odyssey" and "Don't Leave Me Blue" straight through to the MC5 romp of "The Elephant Man" and Moby Grape stomp "Rico." Not only does the Van excel in the revivalist sound, but on the beautiful "The Poet Tree," the lyrics border on, well, poetry, wrought from guitarist Steffen Westmark's velvet rut: "The ink is pushing further up your spine. From your head grows a tree and the roots rip the words." Who knew Danes sold soul?


The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle