Luwten Generations

Luwten Generations

Under the moniker LUWTEN, Dutch artist Tessa Douwstra records, writes, performs, and produces cunning pop that incites both the head and the heart. Her latest EP Generations comes as LUWTEN's first full body of work since the release of her album Draft.

LUWTEN takes its name from a Dutch word which simply means 'place without wind'. Amsterdam-based Tessa Douwstra adopted it as the moniker for her solo abstract pop project - which fuses organic instrumentation with field recordings and sampling - so enamoured was she with the creative process of "working in a total vacuum". Her EP of late 2020 Door bore the unambiguous title that reflected, in Tessa's own words; "A study of a perfectionist who acknowledges that everything's in a constant state of flux."

The embrace and empathy in LUWTEN's music lies in the process itself. She's looking for new ways, without reading the manual first. LUWTEN's new material for 2021 marks a determined move towards opening up, allowing a little fresh air, some outside influence, to rush in underneath the door left ajar. Speaking about the ideas of agency, control and freedom - increasingly applicable to the global crises of 2020/2021 - which have preoccupied her recent creative processes, Tessa notes; "How much of being alone is because it's helpful? How much of being alone is because you're afraid? Does being alone help being authentic? Or is looking for authenticity something you could or even should look for with others?"

Through her work, LUWTEN searches for the answer to one of life's biggest challenges: how to reconcile a yearning for both solitude and companionship. It's a quandary the world of today is suddenly coping with on a massive scale. Though the balance between spending time alone and with others is ever-changing, LUWTEN finds solace in small, bemused observations she can clutch onto like cherished mementos.

Speaking on the process of creating her debut album along with her latest EP LUWTEN said, "During the making of Draft there was another story that surfaced. These songs belonged on a separate release: Generations. I feel a lot of comfort in zooming out and looking at the intergenerational processes underlying our times. To put things into context. These songs are inspired by generations, the past and the present."

Coming from a religious background, LUWTEN mentions that in generations before her there was a silent ideal of being polite put in place, to not take up too much space; but not taking up space feels cramped to her. This is noted in her two singles off the upcoming EP "Restless Before Breakfast" and "Nothing New" as she incorporates sounds from different religions to illustrate the loss of a collective belief. Or that being replaced by effectiveness and growth.

Discussing the track "Restless Before Bed," "I wrote this song in my car while driving. I think this sums up what this song is about quite much. I feel that most of us, and my generation for sure, are quite distracted by effectiveness. We wake up feeling restless because we woke up too late. Every hour counts but for what exactly?" 

A similar theme is observed in her track "Nothing New'' which is a song about breaking patterns, regarding things like tradition and religion that get passed on from generation to generation. Pointing out that it's nothing new but posing the question of: can it change? Do we change? And if so, how do we do that?

LUWTEN has quickly built a profile throughout Europe, with spins on various radio stations throughout the Netherlands, and now BBC Radio 1 in the UK. The indie-pop star has also seen support across streaming, including spots on New Music Friday in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, as well as cracking the Netherlands Viral 50.