Y’know one of these days I’ll have to find out just what’s behind Leeds band Van Houten’s name. Is it in homage to Leslie Van Houten who like Linda Kasabian was one of Charles Manson’s 60’s cult members in the family, are the lads fans of American cocoa manufacturers Van Houten, or is it something different entirely.
I rather like the idea of the cocoa manufacturers, as Van Houten’s music rather reminds me of sitting in a warm familiar dressing gown sipping a enveloping and comforting cup of the sweet sleepy inducing brown stuff. The drowsy, lazy but jangling guitar based sound flows like a languid river at the end of a long summer’s day.
After their debut album Van Houten last year, new single Better Than This has been released as a double A side (with In The Morning Lights and their track Into Sunlight on the reverse) as a Come Play With Me vinyl release.
The lyrics of Better Than This explore a common human concern and worry that our lives could be better and we should perhaps do something about it. While it’s fine to have aspirations and plans, of course, the danger comes in not pausing to appreciate what you actually already have in life.
Regular readers will know I only ever review music I love, but of course like a child there is usually secretly one you love above all others. Let’s just say that if you only buy one piece of vinyl this year, you could do far worse than to make it something from Van Houten.
The Van Houten music on Better Than This has a wonderful rolling, familiar and lush sound. It all reminds me of being 8 years old and dozing in the back of the car on the way home from a day on the beach and fun fair at Barry Island. Tidy as they would say in those parts.
Images are taken from the band’s social media account.