Dutch four-piece Lewsberg are set to release their fourth studio album, 'Out And About' in September 2023. Since forming in 2016, Lewsberg have gone from strength to strength. Despite never really considering themselves as a ‘productive band’, together they have released three LPs, one EP and a series of cassettes and 7”s including 2022’s "Six Hills" which was released via Speedy Wunderground's singles series.
Lewsberg are named after writer and fellow Rotterdammer Robert Loesberg, famous for his dangerous novel 'Enige Defecten' from 1974. This is one of the band’s main sources of inspiration: the counterculture and big-city cynicism of the 1960s and 1970s. Yet there is also a softer side to Lewsberg’s music and lyrics. On their upcoming album 'Out And About', this side is more present than ever. Rudimentary pop and rock songs are deliberately kept bare, only occasionally embellished with a violin or organ part. In the lyrics, the tendency towards existentialism and black humour is nuanced with an almost naive openness and engagement.
Recorded in Amsterdam in Spring 2023 with producer Yulya Divakova, 'Out And About' sees founding members Shalita Dietrich (vocals, bass guitar), Michiel Klein (guitar) and Arie van Vliet (vocals, guitar, violin) joined for the first time on record by drummer and vocalist Marrit Meinema, who joined the band in the Autumn of 2021.
“Our first two records were pretty much our take on the music and literature that Arie and I had been talking about for years,” says guitarist Michiel. “Our third album, 'In Your Hands', was about keeping things small, quiet and intimate, partly in reaction to some of the unease we occasionally felt when Lewsberg was being lumped in with these muscular testosterone filled rock bands,” he continues. “For this album I was inspired by how I saw the personalities in the band when we became a quartet again, with the addition of Marrit,” he continues.
'Out And About' embraces a collaborative spirit, allowing each member to contribute their unique songwriting talents. The result is a collection of tracks that capture the band's collective creative energy and their individual perspectives. The lyrics for "A Different View" were written via a text exchange between Arie and Marrit, Arie being responsible for the first half and Marrit for the second. “It was a bit intimidating but also a very gratifying experience to write something for a band whose lyricism you have admired for quite a while,” she says.
The album also showcases the continued expansion of Lewsberg's sonic palette, with Arie van Vliet's violin playing adding a rich texture to tracks like "Going Places" and "Canines". “The violin part for ‘Canines’ had been in my head for almost a decade already, but it never translated into a song before. I’m happy Michiel found a way to make it work,” he says. “The lyrics for "Canines" were written by Shalita. I really like how they seem to be a bit more dreamlike and remote than the things I write, but at the same time are still very concrete, matter-of-fact and to the point,” he continues.
Compared to their first three albums, 'Out And About 'feels lighter, calling to mind the The Feelies, Marine Girls and Young Marble Giants, whilst remaining distinctly Lewsberg. The album is being released in North America by 12XU on September 15th, immediately preceded by the first US pressing of the band's self-titled 2018 debut LP. Lewsberg will be hitting the road this September with dates in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.