Van der Saar | Allan Lewis

Van der Saar

I have a clear memory of hovering over a four-track recorder in my room in University. I was smoking a cigarette and learning how to record. The machine sat on its box on the floor; I used a milk crate as a seat. This is where Van der Sar started: in that room, recording the notions of songs that floated into range. I’d let the process shuffle me elsewhere: London, Stockholm, Montreal; places I saw as fantastic and remote, whose streets I imagined I would one day prowl, perfectly attired, fearing neither time nor age.

Now on the verge of its 10th year – and me, Allan Lewis, hovering around my 36th – Van der Saar is getting old. The idylls of University life are long past and replaced by the distant hope – rather than expectation – that something good may be about to happen. Van der Saar exists to fill the space, kill some time and be that something that is good.

The first two Van der Saar EPs were made on a four track, and they sound that way: signals of romance, despair and poor mic placement; wobbly documents of young life coming together and then slightly apart. Next was the Red Circle LP in 2009 – a step forward by way of computer and DAW – an album haunted by its own songs. Two EPs – Lowpass and 66 – followed in subsequent years and navigated the estuaries of Red Circle’s atmosphere and ideas.

Across these releases a sound propelled by guitars, drums, synth and piano took shape: something dark and blurry; sad and occasionally earnest, but with a touch of menace. You must always have menace; it makes up for a lack of precision.

Now comes a new LP, No One Remembers, another landmark in the Van der Saar trajectory; its songs assembled in two rooms – one for tracking, one for drinking – in the basement of my Toronto home. I don’t remember all that went through my head in the two years it took to put things together, but from the outset the record’s sound and mood was intentional.

No One Remembers is a lament of everyday life: riding a rattling bus; climbing a staircase that groans in the wind; receding at the edge of a desk and watching time pass in a strangely static way. I fight with my body, and feel the onset of true aging that I thought would never come. I wonder where my friends have gone and what they do with their time. I certainly don’t see them much these days.

I look forward to my wife. I look forward to my daughter. I look forward to the strangeness of my dreams. I look forward to Van der Saar.

No One Remembers

No One Remembers is released on September 23 2014
Available at vandersaar.com and at the VdS bandcamp.
If pressed, consider: River Hame, A Fume or Two, or Green Mustang.


If you need photos, try these:
VdS Cover


Anytime: info@vandersaar.com

Love You,


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