Hailing from The Netherlands, Model Depose brings an exciting, dark, danceable and mysterious sound to fans. The has been together for over five years with two EPs, several singles, and now their debut album, Splitting Light, under their belt. By combining various styles, the band creates a masterful combination of different elements to form a whole.
Beginning with the slow building intro of “Closer to Home”, the rhythm section consisting of David Bos on bass and Tim Lechner on drums set the tone. As soon as Mariet Gast on keys and Jobbe Holtes on guitar kick in, it is clear that this is a record that will take Model Depose to high places. The production quality is amazing, and as soon as things quite down a pulsing synth takes over, accompanied by Roeland van der Velde’s haunting vocals. My one quip with this song is the verse where van der Velde’s vocals are panned far to the left and right, which is a bit jarring.
Following on the powerful introduction is “Papercut”, a dancy synthpop tune akin to something The Bravery might have released before their unfortunate demise. The poppy music doesn’t hide the fact that this song is about heartbreak, as van der Velde sings, “I’m starving for love with a papercut”. The lead guitar, drenched in reverb, adds quite well to the happy side of the song, not letting the lyrics bring it down.
The song “Greyscale” provides a dancy beat, which like “Papercut” grooves along under dark lyrics. This time, however, the song discusses the future and the unknowingness of life, the universe, and everything.
“Rise and Fall” provides a reprieve from dance songs, slowing things down with an arrangement focused mostly on the instruments. The song features a building force leading up to the next track, spooky sounding and introspective “Sour Times”.
Turning to a poppy indie rock style, “For You” features cries for an unnamed person to follow. Van der Velde sings, “my arms are wide open for you, I am always on your side. The future is bright and open for you.”
The closing track, “Nightwatch”, provides an excellent end to the record. It is a powerful song about keeping loved ones safe, and possibly insomnia and dark thoughts. It is not immediately clear what the lyrics mean but they are extremely haunting, yet at the same time hopeful.