Critically-acclaimed Amsterdam synth duo Weval (aka Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers) have arrived on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint with news of forthcoming 4-track EP Changed For The Better. Having cultivated a unique sound, they balance high energy electronic funk and emotive synth arrangements with bold, beautifully composed melodies and songwriting.
During the time of lockdown the pair made it their mission to rediscover themselves and so their creative process was reinvigorated with an uninhibited approach. Changed For The Better represents Weval in a way that is unfiltered, heartfelt and unashamedly positive. 11 years since they first met and 9 since they began making music together as Weval, Harm and Merijn have achieved a state of self-acceptance and confidence that shines through in their music making.
Weval strongly believe that music is a feeling, inspired by the purity of emotions and feelings evoked as a child listening to a cassette in the back of a car while on holiday with your parents. They manage to unearth that untainted energy and capture an authentic feeling of youthful romanticism and sincerity.
Throughout the new EP, Weval instil uplifting energy with pumped up beats and highly affecting melodies and riffs. All four cuts embody their reinvigorated outlook; the title track, out now, was made with a live audience in mind, splicing a funky bassline with Harm’s haunting vocals.
Their core influences growing up converge and contrast to produce a perfect balance. Harm listened to more subdued music during the 90’s and early 2000’s. “I always had a true sweet spot for sentimental pop and RnB and from the beginning 2000 hits from N.E.R.D. Aaliyah, Usher and Madonna.” Harm says. “After some time, I stepped away and discovered Yonderboi and St. Germain and that opened the door to the whole world of jazz.” Merijn grew up with more high energy stuff: “For me, the first time hearing those 90’s movie soundtracks like Fight Club, Blade and the Matrix was really influential. Later on hearing DJ Shadow for the first time, RJD2, Amon Tobin.” Merijn added.
In 2016 BBC Radio 1 invited Weval to perform live at Maida Vale for their Residency series alongside Moderat, Darkstar, Gold Panda, Jessy Lanza and AKASE. They’ve also rocked stages with their five-piece band at prominent festivals from Nuits Sonores, Lowlands, Primavera, Best Kept Secret and Pukkelpop. They have also had sold-out headline shows at the prestigious Royal Concertgebouw and iconic Paradiso in their hometown of Amsterdam. Upcoming shows include a date with Metropole Orkest at Melkweg for the long awaited ADE 2021.
In a world full of turmoil and trauma, “Changed For The Better” offers hope and comfort. Born of the desire for playing live again to a big crowd the EP feels imbued with positivity and a renewed sense of optimism. Here Weval reveal their true nature, revelling in their liberation and setting a clear course for where they’ll go next.
Changed For The Better is out on 12 November on 12″ vinyl and digitally, with the title track out right now.