Dutch musician & filmmaker Sjors Mans has quietly released some really lovely recordings over the past 2 years. These include various of sketches & singles on his Soundcloud page, a solo album entitled Dauw on 1631 Recordings, and an improvisational collaboration from his Amsterdam studio with Fabian Rosenberg (aka Klangriket) last year on Piano and Coffee Records. It is to this label he returns with a his new solo record Noord, a graceful and eloquent ode to the desire to create simply, instinctively, and without pretense.
The liner notes proclaim “‘Noord‘ is easiness and freedom, a process of musical rediscovery. It is going back home”, and there is not a moment spent in the confines of its dulcet piano lines or the incandescent warmth of its glowing electronics that contradicts that sentiment. The gorgeous “Big Ballad” sits as the centerpiece between the opening & closing “hymns” that bookend the album accompanied by Rosenberg on trumpet. The intimate spaces in between are filled with a pair of tender solo piano pieces (“With You”, “Without You”) and the synth elegy “Oventura”. The most profound pleasures are the simple ones and that is something Mans clearly understands and is able to weave into his music. This record is just the ticket at the end of a long and trying day.
Noord will be available February 8 on limited edition vinyl-effect CD and digital from Piano and Coffee Records. Cover artwork is by Jordan Amy Lee.