Delicate and fresh are the words that pop in my mind when I first listen to Luwten’s single In Over My Head II. Immediately, I got a feeling I will love her music. So, I dig deeper and prove myself that she’s right.
Tessa Douwstra is the woman behind Luwten. Instead of describing Luwten as Douwstra’s stage name, in her official website, she describes Luwten as her creative conduit. Her music’s genre is electronic, but, mind you, she has lots to offers and does fair share of experiments in her debut album, Luwten.
There isn’t much personal info about who Douwstra is, except that she is from Amsterdam, Netherland. But, you’ll get a clear understanding of what she wants to do with her music through Luwten.
To create something that didn’t exist yesterday. That is what she wants to bring through her music. In doing so, she argues that space, where one feels unburdened by the strain of ones surrounding, is the place to do that.
Since gaining international recognition, Luwten has released one self-title LP in 2017. The album, consist of 10 songs, is her collaboration with percussionist and producer Frank Wienk. So alluring the result is, that this album worth to be played in repeat.
The debut LP focuses mostly in Douwstra’s clear, delicate voice. She delivers her song in various styles, by singing it in slow tempo, punctuating the lyrics between empty spaces, murmuring, or humming the lyrics. She’s catching your attention not through a high note. Instead, she grabs your attention by softly singing her songs so you’ll pay more attention to what she wants to say.
Most of the songs come with the same drifting formula—accompany by drums, percussion, bass, acoustic or electric guitar, programming, and backing vocals. In some songs, like No Ifs, Indifference, Double for Me, In Over My Head, and What Fits like a Glove, there are piano tunes. In special one, In Over My Head, you’ll get French horn. I called it special because, In Over My Head probably the only slightly up beat song in this album. Yes, most of the songs come with slow beat electro tunes.
If I could describe Luwten’s lyrics on her debut LP that would be clever. I adore how she pick up daily words, woven them into conversation lines or fiddling their position into creating another meaning.
Take a look at this,
You don’t want to need but need to know
What you want
You think that if you need to much you’ll
End up with none
— Double For Me
I think that I’d like
to turn off the lights now
I think that I might
need it to be as clear
as day and night
about the times that I tried to
be what I’d like to be
but couldn’t be like
— We Talk
For me, this album is a friend when I want to think and slow down. Because as if calm is the mantra, this album gives soothe, calming feeling and helps me to put aside all the disturbing emotions. Yes, sometimes being passive and hold back your reaction regarding things that happen to you could help you think clearly.
I really look forward to what Douwstra will make next. Whether she will creates other lean, sparse songs or will she come up with a different electronic experiment. Whether she will stick to her simple and yet alluring lyrics to share her stories and feelings or not. But, I definitely will look forward to her next music. Meanwhile, you can stream her album here: