Maaike Ouboter: En hoe het dan ook weer dag wordt

ouboter1Silver Linings

Listening Post 37. People who lose parents during childhood often develop heightened empathy and resilience. Maaike Ouboter’s parents died when she was in high school and in 2013, at age 21, she channeled her feelings into the reality show “The Best Singer-Songwriter in the Netherlands.” Her audition song, Dat ik je mis (I Miss You) explored not only loss but also strength through memory: “You soothe me, embrace me/You save and disrupt me, believe me…and trust me” (video 1). Within two days her song was Number 1 in the Netherlands; in the first month, her audition video had three million YouTube views. Ouboter took two years to spin her star appearance into an album and Dutch critics are near unanimous in lauding her as a master lyricist who composes songs with layers of sadness and optimism—in her own words, “the lightness of melancholy.” Her instrumentation is spare, mostly her sterling voice with guitar (or piano), giving her music a folk texture. Jij de koning (You’re the King) is a love song to her brother in which she recalls riding on his back: “We are no longer together stomping in the mud/I still wrap my arms as tightly around your neck” (video 2). Other highlights are the boy-meets-girl ballad 23 April and the girl-remembers-boy Zandbak (Sandbox). One review aptly describes the album (in English, “And How Has Another Day Dawned?”) as “an exhibition of 11 miniature paintings which speak of surprise and consolation.” (Oets/Sony Music Entertainment Netherlands)

 


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