Dutch Tulips unveil debut album ‘Double Visions’
Boston alt-rock / indie-pop band’s highly anticipated full-length arrives April 23
With April 23’s ‘Double Visions’, Dutch Tulips create an album in a world of streaming singles
Photo Credit: Stanislaw Nagiec
BOSTON, MASS. -- There’s an old adage about albums: You have your entire life to make your first, and about a year or two -- on the road, with greater expectations, and all the pressures of the biz weighing heavily -- to make your second. But what if that debut album is delayed, by no fault of a band’s own, due to a societal pause caused by a pandemic? What if that anticipated year after an album’s completion is not spent touring and working on a sophomore effort, but instead calmly waiting out society’s return to normal? Well, then that debut album release is something of a grand celebration of epic proportions.
Cue the guitars that sound like horns. Cue the exasperated emotion of release. And cue Dutch Tulips’ highly-anticipated debut album Double Visions, out April 23.
The Boston alt-rock and indie-pop quartet’s first full-length was recorded with Andrew Oedel out in Western Massachusetts back in February 2020 at a historic church now known as Ghost Hit Recording. It was the last thing they completed before the pandemic hit, causing life to suddenly pause. The record was done, yearning to be released, to be heard, to be showered across the ecosystem of blogs, radio, and playlists. But the band waited it out. Now that the world is opening back up and life is resuming some sense of normalcy, Dutch Tulips are finally back in bloom.
“Releasing this album feels like waking up for the first time in my entire life,” says guitarist, synth player, and vocalist Justin Mantell. “It’s time to slug some coffee, brush them shits, and get to fucking work.” Says bassist and vocalist Mike Holland: “It feels really good. Recording these songs was the last thing we did before the pandemic. To be releasing it as folks finally start getting vaccinated feels like a cycle completing.”
The arrival of Double Visions has been a slow build to this point. A 2018 self-titled EP. A follow-up EP a year later called Receiver. An evolution of sound and a chemistry growing stronger with each session, each recording, each affirmation of a brotherhood between four members that’s hard to describe. To set a tone for the LP, three singles have been issued monthly to start 2021: January’s “Pez Mansion,” February’s “Sick Middle,” and last month’s “Tell Me Your Codes”; all of which earning Dutch Tulips regular rotation across New England radio and flattering attention across digital media far beyond their Boston residences. But in LP form, these singles speak to a larger focus.
“Double Visions really reflects who we have evolved to be over our first few years as a band,” says drummer and vocalist Matt Freake. “It’s definitely the most collaborative thing we’ve done and it really represents how our writing process has evolved. Also, we’ve done a lot of collaborating on this album with other artists: Dillon Arloff who did the artwork; Melissa McClung who has done video and animation work; Andrew Oedel who mixed the record; and Brian Lucey who mastered it. In all those cases we found people who we trusted and respected and gave them the runway to add their creativity to make the album what it is today. I think we will continue to work extremely collaboratively going forward as it’s super rewarding and always produces a better end product.”
Roughly 80 percent of Double Visions was written collaboratively with all four members present, even counting Ghost Hit Recording as an unofficial fifth member of the band. It’s a collaborative writing process that strengthens not only their bond as creative entities, but also presents these new songs in a way that bursts out of the speakers. The sound is entirely Dutch Tulips: Crisp, frenetic, wildly all over the place and yet wound so tightly in a kaleidoscopic explosion of melody, a blissful sonic merger of grime and polish.
“We don’t do anything unless everyone loves it,” says vocalist and guitarist Jack Holland. “That means we have to listen to each other and respect each other. We tend to trust the process with more confidence now. Maybe if I’m improvising something with the wrong idea somebody else is clarifying the right idea of what they are doing. Paradoxically if you can let the imperfections flow you end up with something more perfect.”
That was the case as Dutch Tulips infectious indie-pop filled the air of Ghost Hit Recording, a 3,000-square-foot residential recording studio built into a historic church in East Springfield, Massachusetts.
“I couldn’t imagine the album coming together any better than it did,” says Mantell. “Andrew and Ghost Hit Recording is next level, we stayed in what I am 200 percent sure is a haunted church for a week straight, and I believe that general eeriness found its way into our tracking, giving Double Visions that signature ‘creep-pop’ flavor.” Adds Mike Holland: “It is our biggest and most powerful sound so far. While Andrew captured us at our highest musicality, the raw emotion of the songs is still the first thing I hear. That combination of facts is probably my favorite thing about the album. In fact, I’d say Ghost Hit has its own presence on the album which can’t be found on any other Dutch Tulips recording (yet). I certainly see the church spires and towering organ pipes when I listen to the end of ‘Sick Middle’, or the sparse parts in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. I hear it in the spaciousness of the drums.”
The result is 12 fantastically complex and insanely catchy rock and roll songs wound up and perfected within pop music’s tightest spaces, a collection of songs that can be either digested separately for the singles-driven age or streamed in full as a cohesive unit with a broader reflection. Each track has its own distinct personality, but each track is fully Dutch Tulips in nature.
“Ultimately we made the record that didn’t already exist but that we wanted to hear,” says Jack Holland. “It seemed obvious to me that if you’re going to make a record you should do something that has as much universal appeal as possible while at the same time stands apart from everything else. It’s true that we found a cohesive form with the full length. At the same time, creative work is like alchemy. Writing this record is necessary in order to write the next one.
Mike Holland agrees. “It is the most cohesive we have ever been as people, as collaborators, and as musicians,” he says. “It still feels like a beginning though.”
A new adage waiting to be written.
Dutch Tulips are:
Jack Holland - Guitar / Lead Vocals
Michael Holland - Bass / Vocals
Justin Mantell - Guitar / Synth / Vocals
Matt Freake - Drums / Vocals
‘Double Visions’ credits:
All songs written and performed by Dutch Tulips
Recorded and Mixed by Andrew Oedel at Ghost Hit Recording in West Springfield, Mass
Mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden in Los Angeles, CA
Album and singles artwork by Dillon Arloff
Video and animation work by Melissa McClung
‘Double Visions’ album artwork:
Designed by Dillon Arloff
Dutch Tulips short bio:
Dutch Tulips are a grimey, pop, rock & roll band from Boston, MA. Started by friends looking to make music they were passionate about, Dutch Tulips have felt compelled to address themes of mental health and isolation since their onset. Layering these ideas amongst approachable pop songs that are dancing on the edge of being too weird is their specialty. The Tulips recorded their first full length record in February 2020, and is set for release April 2021.
The music of Dutch Tulips has been heard on:
WZBC’s Virtual Detention; WMBR’s Late Risers Club; Laura Beth’s Mixtape Show on Reclaimed Radio; KNNZ 89.1 FM’s Your First Listen; WMBR’s Breakfast of Champions; Salem State Radio’s Everything You Know Is Wrong; Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood; Bay State Rock, BumbleBee Radio with Kristen Eck; Mark Skin Radio’s Christian’s Cosmic Corner; WMFO’s Rising With Skybar; Hanks Alternative Radio; indie617, and other fine radio stations and programs.
Praise for Dutch Tulips:
“It absolutely slaps.” _indie617’s Pelvis Costello
"This is awesome.” _Your First Listen, KNNZ 89.1 FM Fargo, ND
"I really like this track a lot [‘Tell Me Your Codes’], it's an absolute earworm -- got stuck in my head all last night." _WZBC’s Nick Benevenia, Virtual Detention
"[Dutch Tulips] inject a sense of vivacious energy throughout their music... and they know how to craft gorgeous melodies that show no signs of getting old." _Music Box Pete
“A great ‘90s alt sounding rocker in the vein of The Hives meets Superdrag. Very slick production and super catchy “do-doo’s” help this stick in your head. It definitely has influence from Fountains Of Wayne, Weezer but you can hear the 70’s Ramones and NY Dolls influence as well. A catchy track!” _Blood Makes Noise
“Jangle-pop smarts dancing around a fidgety bloom of guitar hooks."_Vanyaland
"Infectious and fun fuzzy jangle rock." _The Deli
"Electrical and elevating."_Turn Up the Volume
"...earnest, straightforward and totally infectious especially if you listen to it while holding a beer." _American Pancake