Here’s a sentence we never thought we’d say: We think the Dutch artist is highly underrated this year. So far at least.
It’s not like we approve of those Dutchmen very often in Eurovision, but this year’s artist is different. Being only 23 years old, Douwe Bob already seems well established. He was voted the best singer-songwriter in The Netherlands in 2012, and he has released two records after that, which are both very worth listening to – something we also rarely say in this website. While the first one, Born in a Storm, has a happy folk feel to it in a Ryan Adams and Mumford & Sons kind of way, last year’s Pass it On flirts a tiny bit more with blues and rock in a retro way, which is not a bad idea at all.
It’s all very hipster, of course, and pretty cowboy norm core, with Douwe running around in a shirt and waistcoat, ordering pizza from his horseback, getting rose tattoos and bragging about how much bourbon he can drink. But that is fine with us, as long as it seems as genuine as it does. Also, one of us actually wrote a whole novel with bourbon as a key ingredient, so we can totally relate.
For Eurovision, Douwe and his band brings us Slow Down, which is one of the best written songs this year. We’re definitely talking happy folk again, and that’s not something we are often blessed with on this scene. Neither are we always blessed with as good live artists as these guys, who are touring The Netherlands as we speak, probably melting quite a few hearts along the way and kindly making an opening in their schedule for Eurovision.
As writers we really appreciate someone who can write decent lyrics. There’s tons of that where Douwe comes from, Slow Down being no exception. In a world of “you’re the only one” and “I’m holding on” and “let’s stay together, we’ll live forever in the sunlight”, we welcome someone who can actually tell us a message worth listening to. Not that we need to take it easy in Stockholm, but you know, we might need it sometime not so far after that.
While the Eurovisional attention, closely related to early odds and horrendous fanwanks, keeps focusing on France, Russia and, heaven forbid, Austria, we cannot wait to see what Douwe and his crew come up with onstage in Stockholm. Keeping The Common Linnets fresh in mind, we’re guessing those odds will shorten as the rehersals starts. And it probably doesn’t hurt that Douwe promises to open a bar during Eurovision either. That may be just a gimmick related to his stage show, of course, but he has hosted pop-ups in Amsterdam before, so we’re still hoping we will be able to order a decent pour of bourbon in downtown Stockholm.
Nonetheless, there’s bound to not be much slowing down from the Dutchmen in the Swedish capital. This guy is going somewhere and he’s going fast. We’d like to be there when it happens.
(Take a look at the inteview we made with Douwe if you, like us, can’t get enough of him).