The first released track completely surpasses all expectations as what i've been waiting for as a (self-proclaimed) long time fan. Instant buy and can't wait to hear this live in the hopefully t.b.a. tour.
Critically-acclaimed Dutch act Weval (AKA Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers) arrive on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint with news of their forthcoming EP “Changed For The Better”. The duo hail from Amsterdam, where they have been cultivating a unique sound that balances high energy electronic funk and emotive synth arrangements with bold, beautifully composed melodies and songwriting. Due to the enforced downtime from touring thanks to the pandemic, the duo recently embarked on a mission to rediscover themselves and what truly drives them, in a process of liberation from self-imposed constraints. Their creative process was reinvigorated with an uninhibited approach and “Changed For The Better” represents Weval unfiltered, accepting themselves for who they truly are. It’s sincere and heartfelt and unashamedly positive.
Throughout “Changed For The Better” Weval instil an uplifting energy, merging emotive vocals with pumped up beats and highly affecting melodies and riffs. All four cuts embody their reinvigorated outlook; the title track, out today, was made with a live audience in mind, splicing a funky bassline with Harm’s haunting vocals.
For Weval it goes back to the timeless adage that music is a feeling, inspired by the pure innocence of the emotions and feelings evoked as a child listening to a cassette in the back of a car while on holiday with your parents. Weval unearth that naive, untainted energy and capture an authentic feeling of youthful romanticism and sincerity, reflected in the artwork by Vasjen Kastro, where a vintage car (in fact, a 90’s model that belongs to Merijn’s parents, the same car he sat it the back of as a kid listening to music) is engulfed by a cloud at sunset.
Their core influences growing up converge and contrast to produce a perfect balance. Harm listened to more subdued music during the 90’s and early 2000’s. “I always had a true sweet spot for sentimental pop and RnB and from the beginning 2000 hits from N.E.R.D. Aaliyah, Usher and Madonna.” Harm commented. “After some time, I stepped away and discovered Yonderboi and St. Germain and that opened the door to Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and the whole world of jazz. So much fun to step into new worlds, I guess the red line between all those things is that the sound was not screaming but more gentle and clean”. Merijn grew up with more high energy stuff, “for me, the first time hearing those 90's movie soundtracks like Fight Club, Blade and the Matrix was really influential. Later on hearing DJ Shadow for the first time, RJD2, Amon Tobin.” Merijn added.
In 2016 BBC Radio 1 invited Weval to perform live at Maida Vale for their Residency series alongside Moderat, Darkstar, Gold Panda, Jessy Lanza and AKASE. On the road they’ve rocked stages with their five-piece band at a long list of prominent festivals from Nuits Sonores, Lowlands, Primavera, Best Kept Secret and Pukkelpop to Lightning in a Bottle, Rock en Seine, DGTL Amsterdam, Gottwood and many more. They have also sold out headline shows at the prestigious Royal Concertgebouw and iconic Paradiso in their hometown Amsterdam. Upcoming shows include a date with Metropole Orkest at Melkweg for the long awaited ADE 2021.
11 years since they first met and 9 since they began making music together as Weval, Harm and Merijn have achieved a state of self-acceptance and confidence that shines through in their productions. In a world full of turmoil and trauma, “Changed For The Better” offers hope and comfort. Born of the desire for playing live again to a big crowd the EP feels imbued with positivity and a renewed sense of optimism. Here Weval reveal their true nature, revelling in their liberation and setting a clear course for where they’ll go next.
“Changed For The Better” EP is out on the 12th November, with the lead single out now.