Exclusive Album Premiere: Dutch Monks – Yours To Lend (2020 LP)

Dutch Monks

This week sees the release of Yours To Lend, the debut album from transcontinental indie duo Dutch Monks. Ahead of the album’s release on Friday, we’re excited to bring you this exclusive first listen. 

Dutch Monks are Melbourne singer-songwriter Jesse Rudd-Schmidt and Dutch pianist Thijs Flinsenberg. The pair met whilst they were both working together doing medical research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. Flinsenberg has since returned to the Netherlands. 

Yours To Lend is quite a varied album, with the duo exploring a varying mixture of emotions, tempos, and musical textures. Its overarching constant, however, is its heart; and not to mention the tangible musical connection between the two principle musicians. That way you can have indie bop “Colour Blind”, the album’s debut single, sit comfortably alongside the more emotional evocative numbers; title track “Yours To Lend” being one such example. 

Recording a full length album has always been a huge dream of mine, ever since I started writing songs over 15 years ago. After meeting Thijs and developing such a strong musical connection it allowed all these songs that I had written over the last decade to take a whole new shape, maturing from simple vocals and guitar into much richer sounds with intricate chordal layers and harmonies. – Jesse Rudd-Schmidt

As debut albums go, Yours To Lend is quite polished and assured in it’s delivery. Rudd-Schmidt and Flinsenberg have surrounded themselves with capable and quality session musicians too. Whilst their contributions are often subtle, they’re noticeable. The backing vocals of Montana Sharp and Sara Lamont are particularly notable. Flinsenberg’s often intricate piano work also helps elevate the material too, helping it transcend some of those genre confines. It also really helps emphasise the album’s emotional core, especially when paired with Rudd-Schmidt’s tactful lyricism and warming vocals. 

It’s kind of emotional for me really, because lyrically it tells the story of my twenties… the highs and the lows! I really hope people can connect with the whole range of emotions captured on the album and enjoy what we have made.

Settle in, press play, and enjoy a sneaky early listen to Yours To Lend below.

Dutch Monks’ debut album Yours To Lend releases November 13th. You can find and follow Dutch Monks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.