VanWyck Announces US Album Release April 8

Photo Credit: Jitske Schols
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Amsterdam singer-songwriter, VanWyck, returns with her fourth album, The Epic Tale of the Stranded Man, on April 8 through Excelsior Recordings. Enchanting, moody, and rich, the album vividly reflects these confusing modern times through whispered tones and cavernous themes. It’s a timeless album portraying the different ways in which modern man is lost, scared, stuck in his ways, and searching for a way out of his predicament.

VanWyck says, “The older I get, the more aware I have become that a lot of people are not doing great. We all struggle with personal demons, be they big or small. Addictions, anxiety, depression, fear for the future. In all our wealth, we are often not doing well. It’s painful to see that with all of our boundless abilities we are not able to create a society where most people can feel good, can feel valued, or have the feeling they lead meaningful lives.”

When VanWyck started writing the album, she wanted to create a new landscape that could be filled with wondrous beings, where history and the present and truth and fantasy can mingle with one another. Where she could escape the current zeitgeist and then turn back and embrace it as well. It’s an album to get lost in and maybe to find yourself back in an unexpected place.

‘A man washes ashore on an island. He is severely wounded and doesn’t remember where he came from. A woman takes the stranded man in and tries to nurse him back to health. She tells him stories about her island. Strange tales of strange inhabitants, monsters that lurk in caves, girls that sell seaweed, and vagrants that know the truth. In the fever dreams of the stranded man, her stories mingle with the shadows from his troubled past.’ 

This is the introduction to The Epic Tale of the Stranded Man. Twelve songs that intertwine both lyrically and harmonically. Together they tell a story about a man who washes up on a wondrous island and doesn’t remember where he came from. Is he a victim or a perpetrator? Has he escaped, or is he imprisoned? Can he be saved, or is his end near? Luckily a woman enters the stage. Will she be able to save him?

The first and the last song on the album are written from The Woman’s perspective. In the other songs, we are in The Stranded Man’s head and follow his feverish recovery journey. He descends into the madness of his past, visited by good and evil spirits, trying to find a way out.

‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was an inspiration, as was “Dante’s Divine Comedy”. But VanWyck was also very moved by the numerous older men she saw washed up on the steps of her inner-city supermarket. Homeless and under the influence, fighting battles with imaginary demons. She says, “I always wonder what happened to them and what their specific tales are, if they were epic or ordinary, if they did wrong or were done wrong.”

The album also speaks of these times in a broader sense: we are living on the brink of epic transitions. We know that the old ways will lead to our destruction but can’t decide on the path forward. VanWyck says, “Sometimes it feels like we are trapped in our own prisons, in our inability to take good care of each other and this wonderful planet, like we are failing in our most epic of struggles, the survival of our humanity.”

The Epic Tale of the Stranded Man Track Listing

  1. The Stranded Man
  2. I Was Innocent
  3. Maybe, Maybe Not
  4. The Havoc Wreaker
  5. Seaweed Seller
  6. Pond Floor Dwellers
  7. The Dragon
  8. Ciceline
  9. The Smiling Prophet
  10. Lola With the Light Eyes
  11. The Way Out
  12. My Baby Rides a Dark Horse

Tour Dates

02/14 Muziekgebouw, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

02/26 Lost Causes Festival, Tewkesbury, UK

03/11 Beauforthuis, Austerlitz, The Netherlands

03/12 Theaterkerk Wadway, The Netherlands

03/18 Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands

03/25 Pop- en Cultuurhuis PX, Volendam, The Netherlands

03/26 De Amer, Amen, The Netherlands

03/31 Cultura, Ede, The Netherlands

04/03 Agnietenkapel, Gouda, The Netherlands

04/09 Theater Junushoff, Wageningen, The Netherlands

04/15 Nieuwe Nor, Heerlen, The Netherlands

04/22 MIMIK, Deventer, The Netherlands

04/23 Theater Ludens, Voorburg, The Netherlands

04/29 Schouwburg Ogterop, Meppel, The Netherlands

05/14 Theaterkerk hemels, Twisk, The Netherlands

05/15 Cool kunst en cultuur, Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands

05/22 Meervaart, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

06/04 Nijend 24, Nijend, The Netherlands

06/19 Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

07/23 Zomer op het plein Festival, Alkmaar, The Netherlands

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