“The keyword is ‘experiment'”, says Coen van der Horst, the singer-songwriter behind Sidewalk. After releasing two albums with a full band, the Dutch artist needed a change of pace, dusted off his loop pedal and wrote songs he could perform on stage just like they sounded like on record. The result is a new EP, Day One, and a new single, Great Pretender.
On the eve of Day One‘s release, Coen’s on a creative high. ‘So to speak’, he says. ‘That’s what I meant with the keyword being ‘experiment': my last two albums were pretty much pop-rock, but now that I’m on my own again, on stage as well as in the studio, I can write anything I want. Which is what I’ve been doing for the last six months: write a slow acoustic song, or loop a bassloop and write a song over it, or create a drumloop and write, et cetera. The result is that I have a bunch of songs to release, but no common ground among them. I hope people can appreciate it.’
After releasing two albums (2011’s Tuesday’s a Day to Remember and 2014’s Love, et Cetera), Coen took a self-imposed break. ‘I was a bit done, to be honest. While my first album got radio play and produced a lot of gigs, my second album failed to do anything. While it was my best work up to that date. It bummed me out to no end. I started to hate my own songs, and didn’t pick up a guitar for a whole year. But then,’ he smiles, ‘I just couldn’t stay away.’
The result is Day One, a five song acoustic EP released at the end of January. But Coen is already somewhere else: ‘I’m finishing the next five at the moment. They’ll be more diverse, but I like it.’ Will he carry on recording and releasing at this pace? He shrugs. ‘Maybe. I like the vibe right now: write, record, play a gig, rinse and repeat. If I don’t get sick of it, I’ll probably do this forever!’