World Watch: Bettie Serveert

Country: Netherlands

Sometimes it takes a reissue of an album that’s over thirty years told to help a classic band get discovered by fresh ears. That’s exactly how I just recently found out about Holland’s Bettie Serveert. The 90’s indie rockers were popular on college rock stations, but never had a mainstream crossover here in the United States, despite writing perfect, wistful tunes with enough jangle and grit to make them fit in with the style of music at the time.

Tracks like “Palomine” brighten the world, as Carol Van Dijk singes “The sun will always shine on this pal of mine” over a melancholy guitar line. “Tom Boy” has an ease and calmness to it that could give the impression of being a slacker anthem, but the heart and emotion in the vocals give it a pop charm that is hard to resist.

As sweet and melodic as some of their tracks can be, they can also rock with the best of them. “Kid’s Allright” carries a punk-by-way-of-Lou-Reed attitude, stripped down to garage rock simplicity, with a tasty little guitar solo included for good measure. The drumming is tight and the songwriting gets right to the point.

Merge Records is reissuing the record PALOMINE for it’s 30th anniversary, so if you’re like me and just discovering this group, you can get started by listening to two of their tracks in our World Watch Playlist on Spotify or Apple Music!

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