Yanna Pelser as Albertine, her second Christian name, goes through life on a daily basis, is a classically trained alto violinist who graduated from the Rotterdam conservatory. Playing in classical ensembles and orchestras was not as fulfilling as she had hoped. This made her switch careers to become a singer-songwriter. Along the way she started playing her violin in a totally different way, as you can hear abundantly on Drops. Basically as a classical guitar is played. This technique gives most of her songs a distinct, own sound.
From there she looks back in music a lot. Do not be surprised when the sound of the best singer-songwriters from around 1970 come by. From Crosby, Stills and Nash to Nick Drake influences can be found on Drops. 'Wind Blows' and 'Hey Today' are examples of each. Also Kate Bush around 'Cloudbusting' can be found on the album. In between she manages to bring in some jazz and classical influences as well. In short, the sound range on Drops is extremely broad, not least due to the beautiful arrangements and contributions from guest musicians on all sorts of horns, soft percussion and bass.
Drops is a soft album, in sound. That is why I am so surprised that it makes me think of Talking Heads, and not because of 'Heaven', the band's ballad. No, the uptempo fast, funky tracks. The sound of the two artists could not be much wider apart, and yet. When 'Space Dance' comes by, the funky track of Albertine, I understand the link much better, but to my ears several of the more subdued songs have this beat as well. Even while it is not there.
Finally, I am pointing to a Dutch connection, both from around 1980. Fay Lovsky comes to mind in the adventurousness of the music and a little in the singing as well. Also The Mo's first album is in Drops. In two ways. First, in the way Albertine created the sounds on Drops, together with producer Lasse Passage and second in the melodies that are not your run of the mill. They are different, not seeking the easy way out.
This brings me back to where I started above. Drops is an album that keeps surprising. Up to the very end.
Wout de Natris