My two favorite bands right now are from The Netherlands.  I’ve never been there.  I don’t personally know anybody from there.  And I really didn’t even know where it was located until I heard about Ponoka and figured if they were gonna be one of my favorite bands I’d better know where they live.

So Ponoka was reigning as my favorite band until I looked into This Beautiful Mess.  Now the two co-reign together in a blissful harmony, because it’s impossible to choose a favorite between the easy-going pop of Ponoka and the soaring intensity of This Beautiful Mess.

This Beautiful Mess is the perfect combination of Radiohead’s intensity, Coldplay’s dynamics, and Delirious?’s lyrics.  I don’t think they’re necessarily trying to be a “worship band,” but some of their songs are impossible to listen to and not worship God.

On the band are Lydia Van Maurik-Wever (vocals & keys), Arjen van Wijk (vocals), Axel Kabboord (guitars & drums), Abne Herrebout (bass), and René de Vries (drums).  Why there are only four people in the photo and not the five listed here, I don’t know, so don’t ask me.

They say about themselves on their MySpace:

Axel’s ringing, tremulous electric guitar and acoustic guitar weave their soulful melodies around Arjen’s hauntingly, inspired voice. The songs are underlined by Abne’s fluent bass and further lit by Lydia’s beautiful voice and melodic piano.

The album [Falling on Deaf Ears] reveals Axel’s producing skills and TBM’s progression toward organic recordings where each note played and sung seems essential. The album title is significant for the themes of Arjen’s lyrics. They deal with losing sense of direction on a search for what really matters. The lyrics are taken from life, inside them sadness and longing coexist with hope and joy. If you enjoy U2, 16 Horsepower, Further Seems Forever, Radiohead or British Sea Power you’ll love This Beautiful Mess.

Their record label, Sally Forth Records, calls them, “unmistakably cutting edge, yet vulnerable and unafraid of experiment.”  Oooh.  Mysterious.

Anyway, here are two songs from their album Falling on Deaf Ears, which is incredibly amazing:

21st Advent Hymn
Soundtrack of My Life

Website: www.thisbeautifulmess.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/thisbeautifulmess

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