Label: V2 – VVNL23681
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, 180 gram
Country: Netherlands
Released: Oct 25, 2012
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk

One day I arrived home from work and my phone ‘pinged’.

It was a message from a friend in the Netherlands ‘GJ’:

“Definitely a record to consider by the Dutch Blaudzun”, with a photo of a cover.

I am lucky to have a cherished network of friends who occasionally send me music recommendations. It’s a mutual pleasure to exchange ideas and discover music from a more ‘qualified’ perspective. In this case, GJ has impeccable taste and his recommendations are a delight. Either way, thank you GJ as I would probably have never discovered this Dutch gem of an artist.

Artist Johannes Sigmond who presents his musical project as ‘Blaudzun’, unveiled his self-titled album as a statement of artistic identity and creative exploration, setting the stage for his distinctive blend of indie rock, folk influences, and expansive soundscapes. For me, his voice has that effect on me where it can freeze me in my tracks with its emotional impact. This is an artist who loves to write songs, no… NEEDS to write songs.

Being a fan of pro-cycling, he took his name from the Danish biker family of Verner and Michael Blaudzun but it was the influential work of David Bowie and Nick Cave that has inspired his songwriting, most notably reflected in live cover versions of Cave’s “Into My Arms” and Bowie’s “Starman” on the day of his death.

“Their music touches me and they feel like brothers to me in the way they perform and write songs, especially Nick Cave and how he writes songs. He’s like an old prophet telling his stories through songs, I really like his point of view and the metaphors he uses to get his message out – straight to the point, but at the same time he manages to stay mystical. It’s not rock and roll for the gut feeling, it’s rock and roll for the heart.”

In the same manner as his musical heroes, Blaudzun also suffered from dark periods in his life, having openly spoken to Dutch media about his battles with depression and the difficulty in managing the diametric worlds of home life and touring. You can feel this in his music as he embraces a melancholic approach with bittersweet melodies, manages to walk the line between hope and sorrow and somehow always come out hopeful in the end.

When I first heard this album, I literally sat and listened to the whole album with complete captivation – it felt like I didn’t move until it was over.

The album kicks off with “Blindspot,” a haunting and atmospheric track that sets the tone for the rest of the musical experience. Blaudzun’s ethereal vocals weave through a mesmerizing melody, drawing listeners in with its introspective lyrics and captivating arrangement. From the opening notes, it’s clear that “Blaudzun” is not just an album to be listened to but an experience to be felt.

Lost in translation

Still we try

Sometimes salvation is

A crime

As the album progresses, we are treated to a diverse range of musical styles and moods, each song standing out as a distinct piece of the larger puzzle. “California” injects a dose of energy and optimism with its upbeat rhythm and catchy chorus, serving as a stark contrast to the more introspective tracks on the album. Blaudzun’s ability to seamlessly transition between different emotions and musical styles is a testament to his versatility as an artist.

“Tidal Wave” emerges as a standout track on the album, showcasing Blaudzun’s storytelling prowess and lyrical depth. The song unfolds like a poignant narrative, with the instrumentation building in intensity as the emotional weight of the lyrics hits home. It’s a song that lingers in the mind long after it ends, leaving a lasting impact on the listener.

“Black Thread” takes a darker turn, exploring themes of introspection and inner turmoil. The brooding instrumentation and haunting vocals create a sense of unease, drawing listeners into the depths of Blaudzun’s emotions. It’s a song that demands introspection and reflection, inviting listeners to delve into the darker corners of their own psyches.

“Loveliesbleeding” offers a more tender and nostalgic moment on the album. Blaudzun’s emotive delivery shines through as he explores themes of love and loss with a delicate touch. The lush musical arrangement complements the heartfelt lyrics, creating a beautifully melancholic atmosphere that resonates with the listener on a deep emotional level.

“Higher Ground” emerges as a powerful anthem of resilience and hope. The soaring chorus and driving beat uplift the spirits, carrying listeners on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Blaudzun’s impassioned vocals shine through, delivering a message of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Blue mornings, begging at your wall

Never lose to never choose to rise and fall

Give me one more chance, in hopes that we will know

We better get up again

“Resident” delves into the complexities of human relationships, offering a somber and introspective exploration of love and longing. Blaudzun’s poignant lyrics are complemented by the ethereal instrumentation, creating a hauntingly beautiful track that lingers in the mind long after it ends. It’s a song that evokes a sense of melancholy and yearning, drawing listeners into its emotive depths.

“Revolver” cuts deep with its raw and powerful emotional intensity. Blaudzun’s vocals soar over the moody instrumentals, creating a visceral listening experience that leaves a lasting impression. The song’s evocative lyrics and haunting melody captivate the listener, drawing them into a world of raw emotion and introspection.

“Uphill Battle” offers a moment of reflection and resilience, with Blaudzun delving into personal struggles and inner strength. The stripped-down instrumentation allows Blaudzun’s heartfelt vocals to take center stage, delivering an emotional punch that resonates with authenticity and vulnerability. It’s a song that speaks to the universal experience of overcoming obstacles and finding the inner strength to persevere.

“Good Boy” provides a bittersweet and poignant moment on the album. Blaudzun’s gentle melody and intimate lyrics tug at the heartstrings, creating a quiet and introspective atmosphere that invites listeners to reflect on themes of love, loss, and redemption. It’s a beautifully crafted song that showcases Blaudzun’s songwriting prowess and emotional depth.

“She’s a Gentleman” serves as a moving and poignant closer to the album. Blaudzun’s emotive vocals shine as he delivers a heartfelt performance, backed by a stirring musical arrangement that leaves a powerful impact. The song’s haunting beauty and emotional depth linger in the mind long after the final notes fade away, leaving you with a sense of awe and reverence for the artist’s musical vision.

When she comes in

She’s slowly moving in

And she knows all the clowns

The little closets within

“Blaudzun” is a mesmerizing and introspective masterpiece that showcases this artist’s unique talent as a songwriter and performer. Its rich tapestry of emotions, themes and sonic landscapes stands out as a testament to the power of art to evoke emotion, provoke thought, and stir the soul.



A1: Blindspot 3:00

A2: California 3:26

A3: Tidal Wave 4:33

A4: Black Thread 2:40

A5: Loveliesbleeding 3:56

B1: Higher Ground 6:09

B2: Resident 2:18

B3: Revolver 4:39

B4: Uphill Battle 0:26

B5: Good Boy 5:08

B6: She’s A Gentleman 2:55