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Nicolaas Walle - The Irony of Fate (ft. Lisa Patscheider) (self-released)

3 April 2024

In many people’s minds, rock music is divided into the classic and the alternative, the big and bombastic and the more arty and underground. In their minds, perhaps that is all you need. But that is a very narrow viewpoint, usually held by people in black leather jackets or cut-off denim threads covered in patches, and you could also argue that classic rock changes and moves with the times and alternative rock has been with us for so long that it is, ironically, a pretty mainstream sound.

Of course, there are other forms of rock and rock-infused sounds, there always has been and it is these less apparent strands that Nicolaas Walle uses to build the tones and textures, the layers and deft designs that make “The Irony of Fate” such a welcome addition to the musical landscape.

Strands such as bluesy delicacy and shimmering background cascades, picked intricacy and soulful licks…and that is just the guitar work! Add to that a solid yet unfussy beat and bass lines that are both propulsive and melodic, and you will have a neat, roots-rock-blues piece.

Although Nicolaas Walle is a multi-instrumentalist, he leaves the singing in the hands of others, collaborating with many different vocalists to create his desired sound. Here, Lisa Patscheider adds soft and seductively soulful vocals, perfectly matching the subtle and supple nature of the music she effortlessly dances over.

Rock music takes many forms and is best when it is not reduced to the rigid genres that many are still happy to perpetuate. Rock music, if indeed that itself isn’t too confining a label, is best when it is free to flit through and flirt with any number of genres, just as Nicolass Walle allows it to do here.