VanWyck Releases The Title Track Off January 19 Album
Amsterdam singer songwriter, VanWyck, follows up the 2016 single that KCRW’s Chris Douridas called “exquisite” with her new single,“An Average Woman”. The title track is off the album due out on January 19 on Maiden Name Records. Hauntingly atmospheric and melodious, the songs on the album unravel in a spiral of smoky soulful vocals aching with lyrical precision of stories untold. An Average Woman is about women who are visible and hidden, sacrificing and selfish, ordinary and magical, obligated and free. It's about the mysteries lurking in the everyday. It's about creating your own universe and your own sense of belonging - and stumbling along the way.
The lead single is about being braver, bolder, and sometimes selfish. Written in the past tense, it’s almost like a funeral song, burying the average woman in order for the creative woman to emerge. VanWyck says, “Both my grandmothers were strong women (a nurse and a teacher) who came from very humble backgrounds and had to work hard and take care of children. Being creative was a luxury that was often not allowed to them. Being in the foreground was also not something they were allowed to aspire to. One of my grandmothers was very inspirational in making me reach higher and to put all my talents to work. I keep her picture as a young girl on my desktop to remind me of the chances she never had and the way she pushed me to reach higher.”
There were four moments in time that spurred VanWyck to write the song, “An Average Woman”:
- An article about a seventeen year old girl who committed suicide because she thought she wasn’t special enough to exist. She kept comparing herself to Beyonce and felt she fell short.
- Learning from a therapist friend that the end goal of most therapies is for people to realize that they are just who they are and accept that - this in contrast to promises of change, golden futures and the realization of big dreams.
- A book by Anne Taylor where a woman disappears and the family members have difficulty describing her to the police because of her average features. It’s this averageness that allowed her to disappear.
- Hearing a brilliant young philosopher simultaneously dig deep and build towers with her thoughts.
“The Average Woman” opens the album like a corset: something to hold on to when times are shaky, but also something to tear out of to find true freedom. It metaphorically allows the album to break out of that frame and unfold beyond the average. Accompanied by the award-winning bass player and arranger Reyer Zwart, lyrics and instrumentation intertwine to become a conversational narrative in a gentle dance of ebb and flow. The strings in “Red River Girl” become a meandering river, questioning the way women’s stories were often erased from history together with their names. Varying rhythms between verses and choruses on “Listen to You Breathe” tenderly ignite a push and pull of discovering something that once felt out of reach, while Zwart’s string arrangements mimic the effect of falling stars.
Singer, Marjolein van der Klauw, whose silvery voice is the perfect counterbalance to VanWyck’s own darker tones, also appears on four songs on the album (“My Sweetheart”, “Bring It On Right”, Don’t Talk to the Captain” and “Whole Again). VanWyck says what singing with van der Klauw evokes in her, “Whenever I sing with her the magic flows in abundantly. I write songs about my lifelong love affair with creativity. It’s like this fleeting feeling that I can’t pin down. I know it’s there, but I can’t control it, I can only submit myself to it and let it do its tricks. Try to leave the window open for the magic to wander in.”
An Average Woman Track Listing
- An Average Woman
- Red River Girl
- Listen to You Breathe
- Bring it on Right
- My Sweetheart
- Europa Escapes
- To Feel Free
- By the Oak Tree
- Don't Talk to the Captain
- Sultan’s Square
- Whole again
VanWyck’s push to reach higher formed into an eclectic musical background that has included training as a classical pianist, becoming a keyboard player and one of the first female rappers in the Netherlands in a jazz dance band, and being half of a trip hop duo. VanWyck launched a year-long project called One Song A Week after releasing her debut solo EP Tanned Legs, with the lead single “The Daughter” lauding critical acclaim from KCRW’s Chris Douridas in 2016. An Average Woman Theatre Tour is planned for 2018-2019.