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?

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