By Jon Milton
There seems to be a phenomenal amount of musical talent coming from in and around Leeds at the moment, including bands such Treeboy and Arc, Dense, Magick Mountain, Fuzz Lightyear, and Yard Act to name but a few. The city even has its own not for profit 7-inch singles club in Come Play With Me records, which specialises in capturing many of these promising local artists on vinyl.
The latest to feature on the label is Van Houten, who release their new single ‘Better than this’ today. Better than this is a lush slice of lo-fi indie pop, pairing reflective vocals with shimmering guitars, reminding us that summer is very much on the way. Think Devendra Banhart at his best and you’ll get the picture.
Photo by Sam Joyce
Van Houten are Louis Sadler (guitars and vocals), Jake Ribton (guitars and vocals), Henry Beaumont (bass), Jake Wrigglesworth (keys) and Niall Summerton (drums). They released their debut album on Clue Records in 2019 and were named as Ones To Watch In 2020 by BBC Introducing Music.
Speaking of Better Than This, Louis says “The song is about searching and working for a better life, and is hopeful in this respect. The song addresses how easy it can be for life to pass you by, especially when you're always focusing on the next step, or bigger picture. I believe this to be a relatable and universal idea, as most people have the intention to seek something better, and change their life for the better”.
The song is part of a double AA single that also features ‘Into Sunlight’ by In the Morning Light, with the release supported by Arts Council England and Youth Music UK. You can listen to Better than this here.
Van Houten also feature on Come Play With Me’s first 12 inch release ‘Come Stay With Me’ alongside Team Picture, Jasmine, English Teacher, Dialect, Tall Talker, Dead Naked Hippies, Magick Mountain, DENSE, Her Tilted Moons, Maya Kally, Talkboy & Household Dogs, with the bands contributing remixes, reworkings, demos and live tracks. You can find out on here.