Geri van Essen moved to London from Utrecht ten years ago, in search for an audience to sing her quietly evocative songs to. She has now settled in the East End, where she has found a close artist community. Van Essen now plays in all the major small venues around the British capital, at least when it is not in tight lockdown.
She has also performed live at Cerys Matthews’ Radio 6 Music show in March 2018, introducing the nation to her self-released debut album, A New Hiding Place. This mini album came out in February 2018 and contains five original songs and three traditional American folk and gospel songs.
“Her voice stood out” – Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6 Music
“Van Essen is gifted with a gentle, pure at times slightly quivering vocal that, on occasion, reminds me of Kate McGarrigle” – Mike Davies, Folking.com
“One of the great promises of Dutch and British folk” – Erwin Zijleman, De Krenten uit de Pop
While Geri van Essen’s debut album A New Hiding Place was inspired by the moody pre-war American moody folk blues and gospel, her new (as yet untitled) release is set to be more soulful. Her lyrics remain focussed on domestic scenes and the classic themes of love, family and nature, but they seem to have matured into an even deeper melancholy. The album will be released by Tiny Room Records later this year, with the single 23/32 preceding the album on May 25, 2020.
23/32 was written in one sitting, hummed into Van Essens phone in the staircase of her office, late summer 2019. It’s mostly a general observation of people struggling to feel content, playing with the notion of past and future from different perspectives. The song ends with an actual memory of someone who was 32 last year, someone Van Essen knew well.
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