Blue Van - Dear Independence
The Blue Van’s highly anticipated follow-up to their touted first album, The Art of Rolling, finds the band emphasizing the acoustics of vintage folk-rock within their melodies—an aberration from the band’s sixties-influenced, garage-rock debut. The result is Dear Independence: a mellower follow-up to The Blue Van’s revved up first release, where the influences of bands like The Zombies are entrenched within their bluesy, piano-laden melodies. The Blue Van did not abandon all of its intensity, though; despite being comparatively lesser in subwoofer-shredding guitars, Dear Independence still makes use of big guitars, organs, and percussive drums, allowing The Blue Van to further experiment with juxtaposing dynamics over newfound melodies.
Capturing an authentic, southern atmosphere—somewhat surprisingly, considering the band’s home is in Denmark—Dear Independence was recorded without digital enhancements onto tape, enhancing the album with a soulfully raw sound. The Blue Van are careful not to fall into the indie, lo-fi trap, though; the vocals remain lucid, while the other instrumentation is unafraid to boom and clatter, despite the band’s new emphasis on folk. This creates a middle-ground for the album: folksy melodies and anthemic, often pop, outbursts collide with clashing drums, soaring organs, and heavy guitars, giving The Blue Van a unique musical identity of soulfully dissonant folk-rock. On tracks like “Rico,” The Blue Van best capture their live experience with the drums clashing with the echoes of organ, playing at a loud, up-tempo pace, before culminating into a chant of “na na”s reminiscent of the cathartic ending to The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.”
The Blue Van may have found their niche with their alteration in sound. Their contrasting dynamics fit nicely into their folksy melodies, keeping their large, dissonant sound away from the strains of indulgent stadium-rock. It’s scary how far these guys from Denmark have taken American folk rock—makes you wonder what aspect of American music they’ll triumph next.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.