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BAND OR BUST: Winners Van Der Aven Releases A Heartfelt Ode To Home Called ‘Heimwee’

| Music

By Underground Press

Published Monday, 13 June 2022 07:02

The popular folk-rock band, Van Der Aven (Roelof van der Merwe, Theunis van der Merwe and Paul Avenant), have steadily been making a name for themselves around the country with their lively, emotional performances. 

Van Der Aven (previously BrotherBrother) stepped right into the limelight when they won Texx and the City's Band Or Bust competition that took place at the Toyota Woordfees in March 2020. A tough competition, with over 250 entries, Van Der Aven`s performance at the finals won them the unanimous winner's vote from esteemed judges Theo Crous, Karen Zoid, Wynand Myburgh and Tecla Ciolfi (Texx and the City). Ciolfi says: “I knew from the first moment I listened to their Band Or Bust entry that there was something very special about Van Der Aven's music. They`ve got a unique ability to connect on an emotional level with their audience, and they'll leave you feeling light after a show. That's why I choose them. Over the last two years, they've grown in leaps and bounds, and I can't wait to see how their first single, 'Heimwee', is received." Theo Crous adds that he loves how Van Der Aven makes use of three-part harmonies. "Their sound is distinctive in that way."

'Heimwee', originally a poem written by Afrikaans author and poet JRL van Bruggen, was penned when the poet was studying in the Netherlands and missed the wide-open spaces of South Africa. Roelof came across 'Heimwee' while in isolation during the first 34 days of South Africa`s lockdown in 2020. Growing up on the plains of the Karoo, he felt quite homesick in his small Stellenbosch flat during that time. After not being able to remember the Afrikaans word for “homesick”, Roelof turned to Google and stumbled upon the lyrics of 'Heimwee'. He felt so moved by it, that he sat down and wrote his own music to the words. 

When Covid-19 restrictions eased at the beginning of 2022, Van Der Aven chose to record.

'Heimwee' at the world-class Sunset Recording Studios in Stellenbosch, alongside Jürgen von Wechmar who has worked with some of the country’s biggest artists like Beatenberg, Die Heuwels Fantasties, aKING, and Albert Frost. It is the first single from a 6 track EP that will be released in August this year.

The legendary South African singer Mimi Coertse originally recorded the classic version of 'Heimwee'. Roelof says: “We planned to release our single Friday the 10th of June and were surprised to hear that it is Mimi Coertse`s 90th birthday on 12 June, only two days after our release. It's quite amazing how these things work out! We respect the fact that her version of 'Heimwee' is an absolute gem in the treasure chest of the heritage of Afrikaans Music. We hope she has a wonderful birthday.” - 'Heimwee' was also beautifully covered by Coenie de Villiers with his muso friends Jan Blohm and Mauritz Lotz on his album Hart van Glas. Coenie sent word to the group that he loves the new Van Der Aven version. He says: “I particularly love the kickass instrumental bridge. Well done and good luck with the launch!”

 With their heartfelt reworking of 'Heimwee' Van Der Aven establishes themselves as a significant band on the rise. They will be performing at The Daisy Jones Bar in Stellenbosch with Spoegwolf and Dani Ville on 17 June. Follow them on social media for updates and more shows.

Updated on:
>> Tuesday, 27 September 2022 14:37

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About Van Der Aven

Van Der Aven is a multi-instrumental band based in Cape Town, South Africa. The musical trio of Paul Avenant (percussion, drums & vocals), Theunis van der Merwe (bass and vocals) and Roelof van der Merwe (lyricist, lead vocals & guitar) have been making music and sharing stories since late 2016. The three members are all originally from the Great Karoo (Beaufort West and Murraysburg), and their raw sound and music is greatly influenced by it.

Van Der Aven - Heimwee

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