Having spent the last few years releasing an EP alongside dozens of glimmering singles, Dutch duo LUMINAR have now delivered their long-awaited debut album 'Go On'.
Channeling the warm and inviting aesthetic of acts like London Grammar, 'Go On' makes for a wonderfully bright and uplifting release. Filled with sweeping melodies, soaring production, and some truly euphoric vocals, their first collection is a solid and stunning offering that cements them as a true talent emerging on the scene right now.
So with their new full-length available now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Sofia: That would be the piano and still is!
Evert: My first love was the guitar and it's still a big part of what I do, even though LUMINAR's music isn't very guitar heavy at all. These days I have to admit it's easier for me to get inspiration from the piano or a synthesiser.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Sofia: I get inspired by a lot of things and it depends on the time or stage in my life I’m in at that point, but music connecting to moving images or film works very well for me to get inspired. Also listening to other artists can be very inspirational sound-wise.
Evert: I think inspiration for me comes from all the different kinds of music I've listened to and played in my life, and it usually works in a pretty indirect way. I rarely set out to make a piece of music in the style of an artist I'm listening to at that moment, but sometimes a particular chord of passage reminds me of something and that influences the choices I then make.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
Sofia: That goes from Lucie Silvas to Chemical Brothers to music chart songs to alternative pop music like Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley.
Evert: Being a guitar player in the mid '90's I was on a pretty strict rock diet back then. I started playing because I was really into bands like Guns 'n' Roses, Metallica and Megadeth and from there I went into progressive rock bands like Dream Theater which led me to older acts like King Crimson and Frank Zappa. My taste got a lot more varied once I started studying music after high school and nowadays I rarely listen to rock anymore.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Sofia: It might have been when I first heard ‘Us’ by Regina Spektor. When I heard her music for the first time I was already playing the piano, singing and writing songs. She inspired me to explore a new style of playing the piano and interesting vocal melodies.
Evert: I can't really remember. I wanted to pursue a life in music pretty earlier on; but in hindsight I'm not sure how serious I was about it back then.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Sofia: My own if I start working on a song in the morning.. no, it really depends, sometimes it could be neo-classical music but other times mellow soul music for instance. But I don’t always put on music when I wake up.
Evert: I love to listen to music during breakfast and it can be whatever I'm into at that time; but it's usually pretty mellow in the morning. Lately I've been on bit of a 80's revival trip and I'm a big fan of minimal classical music, in particular the music of Steve Reich.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Sofia: There have been several, but mostly about how I was feeling in a situation with someone else, not specifically about the other.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Sofia: In 2013 I won ‘De Grote Prijs van Nederland’ which is a national music competition and it did a lot for my career at that time. Played a lot of cool shows in the Netherlands but also abroad like Belgium, Germany, Morocco and Norway. I composed music for nature documentaries which were both on Dutch national television, that were big moments for me as a composer. And I recently wrote a song for a Dutch insurance TV campaign.
I think these moments have been very important for my career, but I’ve had a lot of memorable moments and those were always part of a process instead of the accomplishment of something. Even the fact of even being able to live from my own music is very special every time I think about it.
Evert: I've been lucky enough to have the chance to explore a lot of different areas in music. I played in a couple of really cool bands that had some success like The New Shining, EON and currently with Tim Akkerman & The Ivy League. As a studio guitar player I've done a lot of records, movies and commercials. And in the past five years I've been working more and more as a composer and producer. With LUMINAR I feel I'm doing some of the best work I've done so far and the collaboration with Sofia has been so inspiring and effortless.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
Sofia: Outside of music, nothing! Well yeah, I love traveling and hiking in the mountains. I’m especially a big Norway lover. And then filming my trip so I can edit my own traveling movie (like an amateur, but still).
Evert: These days I'm a family man. I've got two daughters, ages 6 and 7, so I spend most of my time with them when I'm not working. I've always been pretty narrow minded in my interests I must admit; obsessed with one big thing and not really interested in the whole lot more.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Sofia: I have thought about that one time shortly, but I think I would’ve loved to be a ranger then! Being outside and taking care of nature as a job would be pretty awesome. Not as awesome as making music, but still!
Evert: This is purely hypothetical because I really don't have what it takes, but in an alternate lifetime it would love to do something in science; astronomy maybe?
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
Sofia: I would say, develop different skills so you’ll be wearing different hats in music. So whenever you’re unable to work on one part, there’s still another you can focus on. So just trying to look for different interests and opportunities. And work with people that inspire you and take you to another level. I really appreciate working with Evert, it inspires me but I also learned a lot while working with him!
Evert: I totally agree with Sofia, it's really important to be versatile because it's quite hard to make a living doing just one thing these days. Also, make sure you're really good at what you do, because the competition is pretty fierce. And I think it's good to try to develop your own voice because that's ultimately what sets you apart and makes you stand out.
LUMINAR's new album 'Go On' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.