Video Premier – MORGENDUST: “Easy Way Out”

Since forming in 2018, Dutch indie band Morgendust have been building a loyal following both at home and abroad on the strength of their outstanding brand of alternative rock music. The Zwolle, Netherlands-based quintet is comprised of Marco de Haan (lead vocals, guitars), Ron van Kruistum (guitars, backing vocals), Iwan Blokzijl (keyboards, backing vocals), Dario Pozderski (bass, backing vocals) and Job Noordmans (drums & percussion). All are talented and accomplished musicians with years of collective experience playing in other bands and as session musicians, imparting their music with a maturity and worldliness that comes from having lived on this earth for a while and experiencing the joys and pains of life, love and relationships. Through intelligent, thoughtful lyrics, they tell stories that everyone can relate to, and package them with exquisite rock melodies and beautiful instrumentation.

In September 2019 they released their stunning debut EP Storm Will Come, then followed up in 2020 with a string of excellent singles: “Alien”, inspired by the story of band member Dario, who as a young man fled his war-torn homeland of Bosnia, “Sundays”, a moving song exploring feelings of choking from a lack of freedom due to abuse of power by others, contrasted with a sunny melody, and “Hands”, an uplifting tribute to all the craftsmen and women around the world who take care of us, using their hands to make, build, create and heal. (You can read my reviews of the EP and two of the singles by clicking on the links under “Related” at the end of this post.)

On June 11th, they dropped a terrific new single “Easy Way Out“, and today I’m happy to premier the marvelous video they produced for the track. The band says the song is “about former lovers, premonitions and escape routes”, with lyrics inspired by Jonas Wergeland, the main character in the trilogy by Norwegian writer Jan Kjaerstad. Marco explains further: “After reading the first novel, around the end of the nineties, I got in touch with him via email. We had a nice conversation about his books and plans. In this trilogy (The Seducer, The Conqueror, The Discoverer), a man looks back on his life and all the women, music and art that made him the man he is today. A lot of my reading experiences fell in place. You never get out of a relationship easily, you always take something out of it, or with you. At least yourself. It defines you. The mantra ‘Stop wasting time’ has become a motto, but easier said than done… So this song was waiting to be released for another project I did with Ron, a long time ago. Luckily, Iwan brought it back to life with fresh new sounds, but the composition, structure and intention of this song stayed intact.”

“Easy Way Out” was produced by Morgendust, mixed by Iwan Blokzijl (who also created the artwork from a photo by Alain Hermans), and mastered by Erwin Maas. The song has an upbeat retro 80s vibe, with Ron’s animated guitar, Dario’s thumping bassline, Iwan’s colorful, swirling keyboards and Job’s lively drums, all melding together perfectly to create an exuberant wall of sound. Marco has a vibrant and warm singing voice, and his plaintive vocals are especially nice on this track. The guys clearly enjoy making music together, and their playful sense of humor shines through in the fun black and white video showing them performing the song in a very tight space. I love it!

I came to you with nothing but my heart in hand
It took some time to realize, I didn’t understand
I ignored the warning signs in my head

Stop wasting time

I‘ve served all different queens and each one had its flaws
To learn to be obedient in absence of the law
And learn about the warning signs in my head

Stop wasting time
Stop wasting time
You’ll never get the chance

We never agreed to allow
There is never an easy way out

I came to you with nothing but my heart in hand
All this time I realized, I didn’t understand
Living with the warning signs in my head

Stop wasting time
Stop wasting time
Stop wasting mine
You’ll never get the chance again

We never agreed to allow
There is never an easy way out
There is never an easy way out

Follow Morgendust:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music / YouTube
Purchase: BandcampAmazon

New Song of the Week -“Hands” by Morgendust

Since forming only two years ago, Dutch indie alt-rock band Morgendust  have made quite an impression both at home and abroad with their superb music. The Zwolle, Netherlands-based quintet is comprised of Marco de Haan (lead vocals, guitars), Ron van Kruistum (guitars, backing vocals), Iwan Blokzijl (keyboards, backing vocals), Dario Pozderski (bass, backing vocals) and Job Noordmans (drums & percussion). All are talented and accomplished musicians with years of collective experience playing in other bands and as session musicians, imparting their music with a maturity and worldliness that comes from having lived on this earth for a while and experiencing the joys and pains of life, love and relationships. Through intelligent, thoughtful lyrics, they tell stories that everyone can relate to, and package them with exquisite dark-edged rock melodies and beautiful instrumentation.

In September 2019 they released their outstanding debut EP Storm Will Come, then followed up this past May with a powerful and timely single “Alien”, inspired by the story of band member Pozderski, who as a young man fled his war-torn homeland of Bosnia. (You can read my reviews of the EP and single by clicking on the links under “Related” at the end of this post.) In July, they released another great single “Sundays”, and now return with their latest offering, an inspiring and lovely new single “Hands“, which I’ve chosen as my New Song of the Week.

The song is a tribute to all the craftsmen and women around the world who take care of us. About the song, Morgendust explains: “Making, building and creative hands. At work and at home. Helping, stroking and saving hands. By caring and loving in families and relationships. Hands can make what our eyes can see. Hands can make or break our relationships. We tell a story with our hands. Hands are valuable tools. For the makers who help shape and keep our society running and for all of us to support each other. Or the encouraging handshake as soon as the rules allow it again. Making, building, creating and connecting hands.

As a band we pay tribute to these crucial limbs by celebrating craftsmen from our hometown Zwolle. The stories of a chef, farmer, furniture maker, artist, motorcycle mechanic, baker and tattoo artist all come together in the new video clip shot by (Dutch 3FM / Radio 2) photographer and filmmaker Bullet Ray (Raymond van Olphen). The release of ‘Hands’ is accompanied by a fan contest, in which the fans participated by singing the chorus “build it with your hands” and doing something with their hands.”

“Hands” is an uplifting, celebratory song that just makes you feel good. It’s an affirmation that the world and the people in it are basically good and that everything is gonna be okay. To convey the sentiments expressed in the hopeful lyrics, Morgendust starts with an upbeat melody, then layers a mix of sunny guitars, humming bass, swirling synths and lively percussion to create a joyous backdrop for Marco’s warm, earnest vocals.

Follow Morgendust:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music / YouTube
Purchase:  Google Play / Amazon

MORGENDUST – Single Review: “Alien”

Morgendust Alien

Morgendust are a talented and well-seasoned alt-rock band based in Zwolle, Netherlands. Formed in 2018, all are accomplished musicians with years of collective experience playing in other bands and as session musicians. Influenced by 80s acts like Talk Talk, Duran Duran, Pink Floyd, Tears for Fears and Peter Gabriel, as well as more current acts like Radiohead, Editors and Elbow, their music has a maturity and worldliness that comes from having lived on this earth for a while and experiencing the joys and pains of life, love and relationships. Through intelligent, thoughtful lyrics, they tell stories that everyone can relate to, and package them with exquisite dark-edged rock melodies and beautiful instrumentation.

The band consists of Marco de Haan (lead vocals, guitars), Ron van Kruistum (guitars, backing vocals), Iwan Blokzijl (keyboards, backing vocals), Dario Pozderski (bass, backing vocals) and Job Noordmans (drums & percussion). Last September (2019) they released their outstanding debut EP Storm Will Come (you can read my review here). Now they’re back with a powerful and timely new single “Alien“, which dropped today, May 1st. Inspired by the story of band member Dario Pozderski, who 25 years ago fled his war-torn homeland of Bosnia, the song is both a celebration of freedom and a denunciation of mankind’s stupidity, greed, and penchant for destructive wars that result in a never-ending cycle of refugee crises.

The band explains: “This year we celebrate 75 years living in freedom [The Netherlands was liberated from Nazi control at the end of World War II in 1945]. A perfect moment for Morgendust to release their new single Alien, a song about the long, hard road refugees still have to take to find a new but uncertain future. To live in freedom is something to care about and not to take for granted, something Dario can relate to. He arrives in Holland in 1995, because his identity suddenly matters, a lot! He tries to escape ‘the lunatics” as he calls them, but they grow in numbers and he has to run, because he refuses to fight his own people. With only a bass in two parts in a rucksack he reaches Holland and finds a place in an AZC, a shelter for refugees of war.

Morgendust Dario
Dario in 1995 and 2020

Dario elaborates: “Here I sit in an AZC with nothing to do, which I cannot stand! Around that time I visit the city library often to listen to music. I notice a note on the wall which says: “Band PTS needs bass player” (PTS was a 90s neo-progressive rock band that included Morgendust members Marco de Haan and Ron van Kruistum). “I audition and I’m in…. Now, 25 years later, with two of the former PTS members I still make music in Morgendust.”

“Aliens” was written by Marco de Haan and Iwan Blokzijl, who also mixed and mastered the track, and designed the artwork for the single. The track has an anthemic quality, with a grandiose melody and dramatic instrumentals befitting the expansive scope of the subject matter. The guys are all skilled musicians, and together they’ve created an exceptional song that’s truly stunning. The layered guitar work is fantastic, and I love the intricate, sweeping synths and piano keys that give the song such haunting beauty. Dario and Job keep the track grounded with their perfect rhythms, and Marco’s emotionally-charged vocals bring chills as he drives home the urgency and seriousness expressed in the powerful lyrics. The band has included a snippet from Jesse Jackson’s speech announcing the suspension of his 1988 run for the U.S. presidency.

All the things I had in life
Now I see that they are
Gone away for good
Everything I once controlled
When I find out that it’s
Gone away for good

Came here
By plastic
As tame sheep
The questions
And the screaming
The waiting in line

Alien
Nations apart
Maybe we’re
Back to the start
Back to the start

Just the scent of neighborhood
Brings a tear to me it’s
Gone away for good
All the colors in the sky
Are just pictures in my mind

Saw how
The money
Can blind you
Seduce you
Betray you
And makes you insane

Alien
Nations apart
Maybe we’re
Back to the start 

Jesse Jackson’s speech:

If in my high moments, I have done some good, offered some service,
shed some light, healed some wounds, rekindled some hope, or stirred someone from apathy and indifference, or in any way along the way helped somebody, then this campaign has not been in vain.

Connect with Morgendust:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple MusicYouTube
Purchase:  Google PlayAmazon

MORGENDUST – EP Review: “Storm Will Come”

Morgendust

So music for old people? No fucking way!” So say Dutch indie rock band Morgendust, who with an average age of 46 are “the perfect age to start a band. Musically skilled, no more stagefright and enough experience in life to tell a story.” Formed just a year ago and based in Zwolle, Netherlands, Morgendust consists of Marco de Haan (lead vocals, guitars), Ron van Kruistum (guitars, backing vocals), Iwan Blokzijl (keyboards, backing vocals), Dario Pozderski (bass, backing vocals) and Job Noordmans (drums & percussion). Their sound is influenced by 80s acts they grew up with like Talk Talk, Duran Duran, Pink Floyd, Tears for Fears and Peter Gabriel, as well as more current acts like Radiohead, Editors and Elbow.

All are seasoned musicians, having previously played in bands like Soulstar, City Jam & Band of Glory, and professionally as hired guns in the commercial music industry. Their music has a maturity and worldliness that comes from having lived on this earth for a while and experiencing the joys and pains of life, love and relationships. Through their intelligent, thoughtful lyrics, they tell stories that everyone can relate to, whether you’re 20 or 60, and bring them to life with exquisite rock melodies and lush, stunning instrumentation. They’ve just released their debut EP Storm Will Come, and it’s a beauty.

The EP opens with the title track “Storm Will Come“, a gorgeous and powerful anthem inspired by the “butterfly effect” – that small causes may have larger effects. And right away it’s clear that these guys are phenomenal musicians, as all the instruments are played to absolute perfection. The vibrant guitars, deep bass line, resounding percussion, and sweeping keyboard synths are all magnificent, and de Haan’s soaring vocals bring goosebumps as he passionately sings We’re waiting for the truth to land in everyone. And when it’s said and done, a butterfly relocates…and a storm will come.”

Anything” is even more beautiful, with sparkling synths, lovely piano and sublime guitars. de Haan’s vocals are deeply moving as he plaintively sings of the selfishness and cruelty of some people who enter our lives, fuck us over, then leave: “My head spins round from all these circular themes. Ones who come, disappear, leave you anything but stone cold and longing for more.” The backing vocal harmonies are especially nice, and I love how the music builds to a powerful crescendo in the chorus, making for a dramatic finish to a fantastic song.

Kind of Blues” really channels the 80s with its fast-paced, driving rhythms and swirling, new wave-flavored synths. The lyrics speak to coming to the sobering realization that perhaps your life hasn’t turned out they way you’d dreamed: “So, we never had a plan. Never thought we‘d lose to this kind of blues. So, when we were young we had a life or two to choose.  Just romantic fools.”

Keeping with that general theme, “Nameless” seems to address how we dream and have expectations and desires, then with the passage of time and how our lives unfold, look back with regret on our mistakes and misfortune: “My truth is what’s behind me. All the rest we cannot know./ You need a name to function. To live you need a dream./ I have hurt myself far too long.” I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but once again I’m blown away by the incredible beauty and power of this poignant song.

Love Lost (Again)” is a bittersweet song that touches on the pain of longing for the return of a lost love: “You’re my heart’s desire. You’re my sun and rain. You’re the ocean waves, please come back again. Love lost again. I can’t win.” The lovely piano keys and haunting guitar chords are highlights here, as are de Haan’s emotion-filled vocals. And speaking of bittersweet, the final track “Allright” really hits us in the feels. It has a darker vibe, thanks to deep, pulsating bass, reverb-heavy guitars and throbbing industrial synths, but there’s also beauty present in the form of delicate keyboard and jangly guitar notes. de Haan’s plaintively laments about the futility of trying to project a happy demeanor when their relationship is falling apart: “I dream all day and cry all night, ’cause we pretend – no we demand – it’s allright.”

Folks, this is a truly stunning EP. Every single track on Storm Will Come is spectacularly beautiful, so much so that it’s impossible for me to pick a standout or favorite. Morgendust are an amazing group of super-talented musicians who collectively create musical magic.

Connect with Morgendust:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music
Purchase:  Google Play