AMONGSTER – ‘A NEW ARRIVAL’
“The new album doesn’t contain a single theme. It’s a reflection of who I am and what keeps me busy right now”, says Thomas Oosterlynck (31) aka Amongster. “Until you turn 25, everything goes a bit by itself. A path is mapped out for you. But afterwards you are forced to get to know yourself better. Finding your own voice and to be brave enough to express the things you believe in is a coming of age process. Often only when you know how difficult life sometimes can be, you also realize how valuable certain things are. But sometimes everything happens automatically. The title track of the new album is a homage to the feeling of endless energy and fertile creativity that sometimes, completely unannounced, overtakes me. That state of mind is blissful. That’s why the album is called ‘A New Arrival’. ”
After his debut album ‘Trust Yourself To The Water’, released in 2016 and recorded with producer Jasper Maekelberg, Thomas Oosterlynck is now focusing on the second chapter of his dreamy alias Amongster. The winner of De Nieuwe Lichting 2014 presents ten fresh songs that feel more intimate. The smooth haunting voice remains up front in the mix but ‘there’s’ less synths and more guitars on the new album. Oosterlynck has also fallen in love with woodwinds. The indie pop of Amongster sounds more organic and timeless these days. The bands that inspired Oosterlynck? Iron & Wine, Andy Shauf, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, the refined approach of Sufjan Stevens and -noblesse oblige- “the nice tinkering (of the band) of a lad called Thom Yorke”.
Thomas writes his songs at home while recording them. The lo-fi approach and a detailed ear for (programmed) bleeps, layers and clicks unmistakably define the DNA of Amongster’s music. To add extra dynamics to the album, producer Reinhard Vanbergen was involved in the mixing of the original takes.
‘A New Arrival’ is a dynamically layered, tasteful, balanced record with hopeful, thoughtful, light and warm-hearted aspects. The same melancholic predilection for pure aesthetics is also seen in the cover, a creation by visual artist Sammy Slabbinck.
Oosterlynck has become a better lyricist. The human psyche is his dada and the lyrics of the new album combine philosophy and psychology. Abstract ideas (free will, death, self-deception, wonder, the limits of knowledge) and inspiring ideas of writers / philosophers / psychotherapists (Nietzsche, Kant, Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, and Yuval Noah Harari) find their way to ‘A New Arrival ‘.
“‘Sapiens’ from Harari has had a huge impact on my world view. Now I understand more why things are the way they are. We have to accept that we can not understand everything. In this sense, traditions are very valuable codes that offer us archetypes and universal truths “, explains Oosterlynck.
For someone who has written little or even no songs about relationships or friendships so far, there are also some very personal songs on ‘A New Arrival’ – apart from the more philosophical an psychological tracks. ‘Slipstream’, for example, is an ode to Thomas’ significant other. With ‘Be Someone’ Oosterlynck is wishing his unborn child all the best. ‘A New Arrival’: Oosterlynck becomes a father.
a•mong•ster | a person or subject as a part of, instead of seperate from his environment, one with its environment