Thijs van der Meulen, a Dutch songwriter, is at the center of the indie project Roofman. He pursues collaborations with a variety of foreign musicians from his home base in the woods in order to get the most out of each tune. “Slot Machine / VLT’s” his debut single, was recorded with Canadian musician Micah Erenberg (The Secret Beach) and published on the German label Clouds Hill on December 10th.
Thijs van der Meulen (1993) grew up in the Ermelo woodlands in the Veluwe province of the Netherlands. ‘You often hang out in the same locations with the same people when you grow up in a small community,’ he explains. ‘”Slot Machine / VLTs” is a story about a time in my life when I was a teenager. My buddies and I, all of whom were single at the time, would frequently find ourselves in the same pub’s corner, secretly hoping to meet someone new.’
It turns out that being inspired by new individuals in your life is vital to the growth of Roofman. Backgammon, the rock band Thijs founded as a youngster, will disband in 2018 after reaching the final of the Grote Prijs van Nederland (the biggest bandbattle in the Netherlands) in 2015 and releasing an album in Paradiso in 2017. With the goal of broadening his horizons, he has spent the last few years writing, travelling, and performing with musicians from all over the world. His creativity has been increased by learning about musicians from various backgrounds and songwriting methodologies, allowing him to freely express himself in new songs.
Roofman has made his stage debut as tour support for American songwriter Noah Guthrie at the end of 2019, followed by a concert as support for English musician Matt Perriment in Amsterdam’s Paradiso Noord in January 2020. Thijs finds his productivity in the solitude of the first lockdown’s serenity. He writes track after track and records heaps of demos in the lee. He’ll go on a short tour with his “Covid-proof family band” in the summer of 2020, after which he’ll begin work on the Roofman debut album.
Roofman is signed to Clouds Hill, a German record label founded by The Mars Volta and Peter Doherty, and situated in Hamburg’s legendary Clouds Hill studios, where musicians like The Killers, Peter Doherty, and The Whitest Boy Alive have previously recorded albums. The track “Slot Machine / VLT’s” was also recorded here on the spur of the moment with Canadian singer Micah Erenberg (The Secret Beach); the two recorded the song in just a few hours during The Secret Beach’s tour in October 2021.
Micah Erenberg, a Canadian composer who has performed at the Reeperbahn Festival, The Great Escape, and Left of the Dial, has launched a new project called The Secret Beach. “Songs From The Secret Beach,” his debut album, was recorded in a cottage in the Canadian countryside and produced in Los Angeles by producer Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck, Kurt Vile). The album is set to be released in 2022 and will bridge the gap between DIY folk and snappy indie rock.
The single will be published tomorrow, but “Slot Machine / VLT’s” will be premiering today, exclusively on Maxazine: