Courtesy of Vital Weekly, so not forget to subscribe, comes the first review of the new Brunnen album “Sometimes my arms bend back”.
BRUNNEN – SOMETIMES MY ARMS BEND BACK (LP by Vrystaete)
There are a small number of artists I should not be writing about. For the simple reason that I know them all too well, personally as well as being ‘partners’ of some kind. Brunnen is one such artist, being the solo project of Freek Kinkelaar, who sometimes worked as Beautiful Glass Bottom Boat, but is perhaps best known as one half of Beequeen; there you go. Within the latter constellation he is, these days, the prime composer and lyricist, pushing the music towards a more pop front. Maybe, just maybe, one could say that as Brunnen we have a proto-Beequeen sound; maybe a bit more sparse, maybe a bit more primitive, stripped of whatever else is added by who-ever else in Beequeen, but essentially the same kind of dreamy chords and like-wise vocals. Here of course Kinkelaar sings everything himself, a duty left to Olga Wallis in Beequeen. This is the final Brunnen release, clearing the archives for one last time. Some of these pieces were released on ‘Goodbye Bye Brunnen’ (see Vital Weekly 77 – that old!), long deleted of course, which is probably the fate of this record too: only 150 copies of ‘Sometimes My Arms Bend Back’ were made. Inspired by the sad likes of Syd Barrett and Nick Drake (and maybe also Edward Ka-spel), Kinkelaar (free of any narcotic abuse however) sings with a similar melancholically a song, with a dramatic intonation that shows that all is dark but there is always light at the end of tunnel (eat your heart out, Nick!). A particular private affair of melancholia. Quite folky and dark at times, but not the kind of folk noir you need to wear your military gear too. If this is the end of Brunnen – and who knows, it is for now – then this is most lovingly exit, ending on a sad low note. (Frans de Waard)