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Anneke Van Giersbergen: With acoustic Arabo-Spanish Gypsy vibe….

Anneke Van Giersbergen – My Promise

Dutch vocalist and songwriter Anneke Van Giersbergen is easily one of the hardest working people in music and an artist that defies being pigeonholed by any genre.

Lyrically, and musically, the award-winning Dutch artist lays her soul bare with the most evocative record of her career – captivating song-stories told with acoustic guitars, strings, horns, percussion, and Anneke’s hypnotic vocal harmonies

Anneke van Giersbergen recently announced the release of her new solo album The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest for February 26, 2021. Today she is happy to reveal My Promise as the album’s first single. The track premieres alongside an accompanying music video. Anneke comments: «captivating song-stories told with acoustic guitars I wrote My Promise when I imagined what life after divorce would really entail. The lyrics deal with a determination to fight for love. The song starts off with an acoustic Arabo-Spanish Gypsy vibe and gradually builds towards a euphoric ending. Ruud Peeters wrote a hauntingly melancholic string arrangement».

Anneke continues: «We shot the video in Radio Royaal, one of my favorite restaurants in my hometown Eindhoven and it shows a few defining moments in a relationship, represented by different couples».

Tracklisting:

01. Agape

02. Hurricane

03. My Promise

04. I Saw A Car

05. The Soul Knows

06. The End

07. Keep It Simple

08. Lo And Behold

09. Losing You

10. Survive

11. Love You Like I Love You

The new album’s title, The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest, refers to the idea that, when facing personal challenges, we are forced to find answers to life’s biggest questions. But, at this point in her near-three-decade-long music career, this solo album – and, crucially, the heartbreak that inspired it – was not something Anneke Van Giersbergen ever anticipated writing.

In 2018, Anneke Van Giersbergen began working on new material for her metal band, VUUR. Although their debut album, In This Moment We Are Free – Cities, was met with a mixed reception, fans were warming up to their heavy, progressive sound. Therefore, a rapid follow-up album would surely establish Anneke’s return to fronting a metal band. However, behind the scenes, these were troubled times.

Anneke Van Giersbergen shares, «My belief in VUUR saw me spend all my savings on recording VUUR’s debut album and taking the band on the road. After completing our first touring cycle, I realized that more VUUR would mean yet more, huge financial risks».

To make matters worse, in 2018, her long-lasting marriage, which had always been wonderful, unexpectedly saw a storm approaching.

Anneke Van Giersbergen adds, «I instantly knew I needed to write music about fixing my life. This creative endeavour would be far too personal for a VUUR album. And it would also require solitude».

With just her acoustic guitar and basic recording gear, Anneke Van Giersbergen retreated to a small house near the woods, just outside her hometown of Eindhoven. She let go of the pressures of what VUUR’s future might be, and fell into the meditative process of writing a solo album. In 2019, work continued on the new songs. In 2020, Anneke Van Giersbergen asked her friend and producer, Gijs Coolen, to help finish the album.

Throughout the completion of the album, Anneke Van Giersbergen`s fragile, acoustic song-stories were fused together with an alchemy of panoramic strings, horns, and percussion. The resulting 11-track record has all the intimacy of Anneke serenading an audience of one, combined with surprising departures into swampier, foot-stomping grooves.

The Japanese art of kintsugi has inspired Anneke Van Giersbergen to use a repaired heart as the album’s symbol. Kintsugi teaches that bringing together the pieces of a broken object – with the use of a precious metal – adds value and uniqueness to it. And, instead of giving up on their marriage, Anneke and her husband decided to take the time to mend their bond. They now cherish the repaired heartbreak as something profoundly valuable.

Their journey through this personal storm, and the album that Anneke created in the eye of it, proves that the darkest skies truly are the brightest.

The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest is Anneke Van Giersbergen’s 23rd career album. It proves, once again, that the award-winning Dutch artist defies being pigeonholed by any genre.

After thirteen years as the front woman for melancholic metallers, The Gathering, she struck out on her own in 2007. Since then, her creativity has known no bounds. Anneke quickly solidified a successful solo career (initially under the moniker Agua de Annique), and has recorded and performed with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend multiple times. She has also lent her serene yet powerful voice to the likes of: Anathema, Icelandic folk group Árstíðir, Within Temptation, Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen, Amorphis, and prog legend John Wetton.

2012’s Everything is Changing was something of a milestone in Anneke Van Giersbergen’s solo career. The album, which was the first to be released under her own name, received two Edison Award nominations – Holland’s most prestigious music prize – in the categories Best Female Artist and Best Album.

In 2015, Anneke Van Giersbergen and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) released their collaborative album The Diary under the name The Gentle Storm.

In October 2017, Anneke Van Giersbergen’s progressive metal outfit VUUR released their much-anticipated debut album. In This Moment We Are Free – Cities entered the Dutch Album Top 100 at number 2, Anneke Van Giersbergen’s highest-ever chart position.

Forever the unpredictable artist, in late 2018, Anneke Van Giersbergen released Symphonized, an 11-track live orchestral album. It was recorded at two career-spanning concerts alongside Residentie Orkest The Hague, and features rearrangements of songs from her entire back catalogue.

2019 saw Dutch music copyright organization Buma Cultuur honor Anneke Van Giersbergen with the Buma ROCKS! Export Award. This is their award for the Most Successful Dutch Artist Abroad in Heavy Music.

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About Ulf Backstrøm (7437 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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