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Dutch artist Pitou’s musical awakening came from an unlikely source. From a very young age, she developed an unexplainable interest in classical music – her father would often find her crouched down by the radio, scrolling through stations in search of the sound of orchestras and choirs.
It’s a memory that continues to inspire. Big Tear, her long-awaited debut album, is a rich, fearlessly creative collection of alternative pop that draws from her classical background; unexpected harmonies and song structures, vocal layering, loops, wistful melodies, and classical instruments all swirled together in stylish, clever ways.
Informed by her love for classical music and years spent singing in that choir, the record also marks her own development, both as a performer and a songwriter. “For my debut album, I knew I wanted to move away from the guitar being self-evidently always there,” she says. “I also wanted to find out what it felt like to tell the stories of my songs on stage with just my body and voice, without the physical restriction of the guitar.” Eager to move into other sonic worlds, she embraced the creative possibilities of different instruments – piano, harp, synths – and using computer programs to build and refine her music; some tracks were written entirely on piano or using software.