PonokaPonoka. I first heard about this band almost 14 hours ago, so we have a long history together.  My favorite Norwegian reader, Ole Jorgen, sent The Blah Blah an e-mail with a giant list of some amazing European indie Christian bands, and Ponoka was the first I listened to.

Ponoka comes from the Netherlands, by way of Canada, and if all Christian music from the Netherlands is this good, I might have to practice my Dutch and move out there.  Now, I’m aware that most of my readers are from the US and therefore may be unaware of the exact location of the Netherlands (oooh, slam).  Don’t worry.  If you look on this map here, the Netherlands is located in the “Wine, Perfume, Spagghetti” part.  Hope that helps.

Anyway, the band Ponoka is Rick de Gier on vocals, guitar, and harmonica; Pim van de Werken on bass; Theo Nap on guitar; Lucas Nap on drums; Laurens Palsgraaf on keyboards; and Alice ten Brinke on vocals.  They’ve got a really tight indie pop sound that’s fun to listen to and chill with.  You don’t have to work hard to like the music.  It’s just there to be enjoyed, from the first note on harmonica to the last chord on guitar.

From the band’s website:

Ponoka is a small farming community in Alberta, Canada, where the largest six-day rodeo of the country is held every year during the first week of July.

Not too much goes on for the rest of the year.

Ponoka is also the place where singer/songwriter Rick de Gier grew up, and now, seventeen years after moving back to his native Holland, the name by which he debuts on the Dutch label Volkoren.

I’m not sure exactly whether or not the members of Ponoka are Christian, but I’m taking Ole Jorgen’s word for it.  Some of the lyrics in the songs definitely point in a Christian direction.  Either way, it’s good positive stuff and the music is awesome.  If anybody out there knows more about their spiritual foundation, leave a comment and let me know.

The band is garnering a lot of press from the secular world.  As written in Moors Magazine, “Ponoka is een Nederlandse band rond Rick de Gier, die alle liedjes schreef, tekst en muziek. In eerste instantie vond ik het allemaal iets te softpopperig, maar ik moet bekennen dat ik na drie keer luisteren helemaal om ben – het bleek zowaar een groeiplaatje te zijn.”  (Note: If there is anything offensive, crude, racist, sexist, bigoted, demonic, hypocritical, freaky, or just weird in the above quote, I assure you it was completely unintentional.  Please do not be offended by my odd sense of humor.)

Anyway, thank you, Ole Jorgen, for showing us this awesome band, and the rest of you can find out how sweet they are with these songs linked to downloads on their website:

September
Back by Midnight

Website: www.ponokamusic.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ponoka

Purchase MP3s on YouMakeMusic
Purchase CDs from the band

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