Heavy legs and new albums from Gotu Jim and Kelela. Music expert Jacob Haagsma noticed this in pop this week

Music editor Jacob Haagsma is busy with pop and wide surroundings. What kept him off the streets this week?

And, Jacob, have you recovered a bit from Eurosonic Noorderslag?

Well, that turned out to be quite a chore. That come to, I mean. Because it was not nothing, that first physical Noorderslag in three years. In 2020 we were last allowed to drink beer on site and undergo decibels and it was nice but intensive to be able to experience that again. But being busy from Tuesday to Saturday, in festival mode, so to speak: that will at least make your legs heavy. And a heavy head.

You could also have learned a trade.

I always say that, but then I would probably have had less fun in my work. Because it was really nice to experience things that way again. Festivals online, via the screen: Noorderslag also did its very best in this way, the past two editions, but that is of course not enough. So yes, secretly I am happy with my heavy head and my heavy legs.

Your self-sacrifice is almost touching. What do you look back on the happiest?

Still Noorderslag, on Saturday. As far as I’m concerned, the climax of that ultra-long festival weekend – or that short festival week, whichever you prefer. Most professionals come for Eurosonic and the associated conference and pack their bags for Noorderslag, but for me Noorderslag is a real party.

I think it will soon be a party for you. But why then?

Well, all that Dutch up-and-coming talent, of course, here in a bunch. Nice to see that the Dutch pop A is so richly variegated and B has come through the corona misery reasonably unscathed.

Good to hear. Have any nice albums been released in the meantime?

The new one from Gotu Jim for example, Didn’t sleep or shower . Very nice record, of a man who makes frantic attempts to survive the wild nightlife. Gotu Jim was one of the more striking acts at Noorderslag anyway: a kind of psychedelic hip-hop. Now that I’ve studied the titles I know where that ‘psychedelic’ comes from. Acid Tab , Ketaverse , Keta banger of the week , Stop drugs (in my face) : that guy is a walking pharmacy. And that with down-to-earth Frisian Geert Lageveen, writer and theater maker, as a father.

Yes, as if that were a guarantee for an impeccable straight-lined life, a down-to-earth Frisian as a father. Any other notable things in popland?

I’m quite blown away by the new record by Kelela, an American singer of Ethiopian descent who makes very exciting R&B – of an alternative cut, actually. But that record won’t be out for another two weeks, so be patient. Furthermore, I have yet to form an opinion about the new John Cale. Because pop is not only the domain of people in their twenties, but also of people in their eighties. This is how we roll in 2023.

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