Band: AWKWARD I
Label/Vertrieb: Excelsior Rec / H’art
AWKWARD i, aka Dutch songwriter Djurre de Haan, has announced a new album: KYD. De Haan found the word “Kyd” in a magazine article about off-the-grid communities. “A woman had the idealistic idea of allowing her son to choose his own name. She waited until he was old enough to decide for himself. When she finally asked him, he told her his name was “Kyd”. Because, up to this point, people had always been referring to him as such.”
De Haan was instantly smitten by the name KYD; right off the bat, it became obvious to name the new AWKWARD i record after it. “I wanted to use a metaphorical language in which I could deal with plain banal events at a more universal level. KYD was just the word for it: it seems to both contain and defy a sense of meaning. ”There’s always some kind of thematic cohesion palpable in AWKWARD i’s work: KYD, however, partly resigns to the notion that some things just happen beyond one’s control.
About five years ago, De Haan had a firm grip on the road he paved for himself. He was able to swerve across many facets of life – both personal and professional – pretty much with playful abandon. Next to his deft songwriting acumen, De Haan carved himself a new niche as a composer for film and theatre. He flourished into a versatile, inter-disciplinary artist, earning him two award nominations in the process. Long story short, the future was looking fruitful and creative.
Then, out of the blue, De Haan found out he had– involuntarily – fathered a child. As a result, his day-to-day life fell somewhat into a tailspin. Just as De Haan got used to the idea of parenthood, he almost lost his mother to a stroke KYD documents De Haan’s quest to preserve control over his own identity: the initial shock, the struggles he faced and ensuing redemption. And most importantly, al the wisdoms accumulated along the way. Though greater in scope and ambition, De Haan simply can’t help putting his quick-witted and wry lyrical stamp on his songs. KYD has become a celebration and a victory, ticking all the boxes of what makes a great AWKWARD i record and then some.
Opening cut Milkshakes Funnelcakes serves as a noble microcosm of KYD’s main narrative. Starting with a downward spiral at his daughter’s first birthday party, the song claws its way upwards, ascending into this rousing existential crusade, unabashed of its magnanimous objective. A song that puts an assured hand on the listener’s shoulder: whatever obstacles and heartbreaks KYD will haul at you, they have since been framed and conquered.
In hindsight, Milkshake Funnelcakes leaves a pleasant enough aftertaste to explore these innermost feelings: sometimes compassionate, sometimes confused – sometimes really really dark – but in doing so, never wallowing in these sentiments. The music video for Milkshakes Funnelcakes was directed by Michiel ten Horn, and features infamous street performer Matthew Silver. De Haan previously scored Ten Horn’s films Aanmodderfakker and De Ontmaagding van Eva van End.
About AWKWARD i
AWKWARD i is the more song-oriented pseudonym of Dutch musician and composer Djurre de Haan. De Haan has released three full-length albums as AWKWARD i. I Really Should Whisper was an intricate but lo-fi affair, sophomore album Everything On Wheels applied a more ornate, studio-oriented approach. His third upcoming album KYD reconciles the two methods to a degree, engaging the listener with his distinct self-effacing sense of humor, offbeat-but-poignant reflections and a dense proclivity for conflating sonorous pop with lo-fi quirks.