A quintet hailing from the musical hotbed of Leeds, Van Houten have recently signed to Clue Records, and next month will release their self-titled debut album. While the band are relative newcomers, their album is an ambitious one, working with experienced producer Martin Smith to create the, “vintage Hi-Fi sound”, that front-man Louis Sadler has always wanted to capture.
The band’s sound is one of contrasts, their soundscapes are lush and dreamy, while their lyrics are personal and honest. Throughout the record, Louis grapples with his struggles with maintaining his mental health, battling depression and its ability to drip into every facet of your life, making you feel isolated and like you’re letting the most important people in your life down. If the lyrics are devastating and demoralised, the music is quite different, recent single Running Scared has an almost Byrdsian-jangle, while the first track to be shared from the record, Moon, was a lush layered number, gently floating by on prominent bass and rich vocal harmonies. This feels like a bold start for Van Houten, with a huge raft of tour dates in the planning, there’s no limits the heights they could scale in the years ahead.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Van Houten?
We’re a psych-pop band from Leeds West Yorkshire, Our names are Louis Sadler – guitar and lead vocals, Jake Ribton – Guitar and Backing vocals, Henry Beaumont – Bass, Megan Lama – Drums and our newest addition Jake Wrigglesworth – keys. We try not to take ourselves too seriously and just do it for the fun of it.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was with a grunge band called black ocean, it was a completely mismatched line-up, but it was our first show so we were just happy to be there. It was at a Leeds venue called Lending Room, where everything sounds like a stadium rock show haha.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Music is ultimately universal. Even those who understand nothing about the ins and outs of it can enjoy it and be inspired by it. It’s also something that you can do with your mates, unlike some other art forms, music has an emphasis on collaboration. It’s also fun to make a load of noise with a load of random guitar pedals. Anyone can write music, with the smallest amount of knowledge, it’s accessible and easy to get going.
FTR: What can people expect from the Van Houten live show?
We want people to get lost in the dreaminess of it all, We try to hypnotise people into swaying along through our set. There are ups, there’s downs, it’s a rollercoaster. We try to add as much live energy to the songs as possible so often the songs come off as a little rockier and wilder.
FTR: What’s next for Van Houten?
We like to think that the future holds a magnitude of possibility. We are touring in September/October. We are really excited to see what kind of response the new album can get, then, we will be on to the second album as soon as we can.
They Listen To…
1. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – All Around You
2. Jerkcurb – Timelapse Tulip
3. Bdrmm – C:U
4. Oh Papa – Closeness
5. Mild High Club – Note To Self
Van Houten is out September 13th via Clue Records. Click HERE for more information on Van Houten.