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Under the moniker LUWTEN, Dutch artist Tessa Douwstra records, writes, performs, and produces cunning pop that incites both the head and the heart. In the past Douwstra’s music was an attempt to cast a light on the introverted, embracing comfort in your own solitude and selfhood. Forthcoming second album Draft takes on a different challenge: how to be that person with others in the room.
The name Draft speaks for itself: these songs evoke the feeling of the breeze underneath the door; a subtle reminder of becoming open to another. To illustrate this notion further, LUWTEN transmutes different sounds together with quizzical warmth: field recordings and organic noise are laced intricately with electronic sounds and melodic live instrumentation. On Draft, these productions tell as much a story as LUWTEN’s compassionate vocals and soulful lyricism. The title track, for instance, features voice memos from Douwstra’s inner circle of friend, family and loved ones, all of them synthesized together as one big collective voice surrounding her’s.
“Sleeveless” (with the stunning award winning video) imagines a state in which an individual can move through existence like an open book. “Control” is a club anthem playing out through the lens of the chronic second guesser, entertaining the thought of gaining something out of the act of losing control. “Don’t Be A Stranger” conversely, wants to stay in touch and “Full Well” is a scream into the void for answers. All these songs are reaching out in a certain way; uncompromising, but without losing the other from sight. The embrace and empathy in LUWTEN’s music lie in the process itself. She’s looking for new ways, without reading the manual first.