Today, Amsterdam-based indie folk singer/songwriter VanWyck released her latest, an eleven track gem of an album titled An Average Woman. But, from the very first notes of the title track, the listener is aware that VanWyck does not fit the “average” mold. In fact, it begs the listener to question what “average” is, and allows us the reminder to be cognizant of calling anyone or anything “normal”. After the beautiful trickle-slow intro that is “An Average Woman”, “Red River Girl” provides a little more mellifluous composition instrumentally, really utilizing the strings to pull at your heartstrings.
By “Listen to You Breathe”, it is quite obvious that this album is going to largely exist in a slow soundspace, which we are completely on board with. We have noticed a lot lately that bands have been bringing more upbeat tempos in to more introspective tracks to give them a dimension of feeling fun. What’s beautiful and alluring about VanWyck is that she sings the songs as she means them. There is depth and immense emotion in her vocals, something you certainly can’t teach.
This entire album is a keeper, moreso for a day when you feel like sipping a hot cup of tea and journaling, or you’re looking for a playlist for your family dinner. It brings up key concepts about confidence, freedom, and being a damn badass as a woman, in a smoky and intense way that only VanWyck could accomplish. With the spotlight on so many issues regarding women recently, it feels nice to cocoon inside art that understands the complex nature of the human female.
“Europa Escapes” might be one of our favorites because it is more theatrical and feels like the Wild Wild West, yet with a woman at the forefront on vocals, which you almost never find. In fact, we would compare this track to one of our favorite male vocalists Radiator King, edgy and drawing a different attitude than its predecessors. We are also completely enamored by last track “Whole Again”, which seems to be more about VanWyck’s personal journey, tying the piece together in only a way that she can. It’s uplifting, conscientiously empowered despite the careful, quiet nature of the instrumentals that lead us out and onto another musical journey in our day.
An Average Woman is available here.