Van Houten on John Maus

Leeds quintet, Van Houten, are a band of sharp parallels. Their languorous, submersive soundscapes are dappled in evening sun, while the lyrical content within is evocative of a blanket of unforgiving fog that foretells pounding rains ahead. Newly signed to Clue Records, the band came straight out of the gate fully armed with an accomplished and immediate self-titled debut which was released on September 13th this year. Here, the band’s singer, Lewis Sadler, discusses their love of American singer, John Maus.

John Maus

Why do I love him…well…he’s not afraid to talk about something so specific that his lyrics in a song consist of only one line or phrase. It’s more about the way in which he delivers his words than what he’s actually saying.

I love his synth sounds and the way he arranges his music in a minimalist but captivating fashion, to keep a track bare and interesting can be very difficult and requires discipline.

I first heard ‘Hey Moon’ on a little skate video or something like that, I’m not too sure. I do remember being hooked by the nostalgic feeling that I got from that song.

As soon as I saw John Maus live I was completely hooked. The intensity, emotion and passion that he put behind every single word is something I genuinely don’t think I have seen before, not to that degree. In a weird way this allowed me to believe and connect with his music. 

John is certainly obscure in his song writing, he made it easier for me to welcome and cherish the obscure things in my own life a lot more, particularly in music. I’m not afraid to try and push my musical boundaries like I once was.

I love his lo-fi sound and I think that is something that is reflected in our music, just a tad. The conciseness of his lyrics, is something that I’m working on trying to achieve. When you can make someone feel so much by saying so little, that’s when you’re onto a winner! 

There are plenty of songs that are favourites but here are a few; Bennington, Street Light, Touchdown, Outer Space, Quantum Leap and The Law.

You can find John Maus’ releases on his Bandcamp page. Van Houten’s debut album is available now on Clue Records. You can see more from them online at Facebook and on Bandcamp.

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