The Netherlands has a rich and diverse music history. Lately, though, like in many countries, the mainstream music scene is populated with DJs, electronic producers, and international pop stars. There is, however, one band that has carved out a sizable following in the northwestern European country. Meet MY BABY, a three-piece band based out of Amsterdam who make some of the most infectious and immersive psychedelic music in the business.
Formed by Cato van Dyck (bass/vocals), Joost (Sheik) van Dyck (drums), and Daniel (Da Freez) Johnston (guitar) some four years ago, MY BABY have released an EP and two full-length albums, including last year’s fantastic Shamanaid. The 10-song record is the trio’s best record to date, receiving widespread acclaim in Europe and abroad. Their music bleeds of the southern-rock of The Black Crowes and the psychedelia of T. Rex, but labeling MY BABY as a psychedelic rock band would be an injustice to their complex, layered sound.
Aborigine (Australia) influences can be heard at various points of Shamanaid, particularly in the tribal-like rhythms that reverberate on songs such as “Seeing Red”, “Meet Me at the Wishing Well”, and “Remedy”. The latter, which has been remixed several times, is the album’s star. A rhythmic, hip-gyrating number, the song spectacularly fuses the multiple influences heard throughout the record. The finale track, “Pangagjo”, similarly is hypnotic and like “Remedy” blends a number of different sounds. The song begins with a heart-pounding, electronic beat before slowing down and weaving in the sound of the South Pacific and Polynesia. It’s an unexpected surprise in pace and rhythm, as the song is transformed from a physically-moving number to a lush, captivating dream.
There is also a Laurel Canyon-era, folk-rock elegance that emanates throughout the album, particularly on “The Doors of Your Mind”, “Hidden from Time”, and “Mary Morgan”. van Dyck’s soft, sultry voice fills the air on these tracks, easing one’s soul like Joni Mitchell did over three decades ago. And like the music that was coming out of Los Angeles at the time, MY BABY tell moral stories through the lens of fictitious (or maybe real) characters.
It’s not difficult to realize why thousands of fans in Europe have gravitated to MY BABY. This isn’t a band with a single approach or even a sound that one would even label as familiar. But what they’ve created on Shamaniad and their debut LP Loves Voodoo! is music that is intelligent, creative, and truly special. It’s not like anything you’ve heard in a very long.
MY BABY is heading back out on tour, hitting Australia this week before moving to New Zealand and back to Europe. Tour dates are below.
MY BABY Tour Dates
Photo by Don Crusio