The latest composition from Dutch dream-pop/electronica composer VAN ELST is entitled “OU ES-TU”. As you might have already guessed, this song deals with the sense of loss (presumably that of a friend or a loved one). Creating songs that release a huge amount of emotional energy is not a new thing to the dutchie mastermind, but contemplating loss with such a gripping and dark tone is something rare to achieve from any artist, and let me tell you why Mr. VAN ELST nails it this time around.
The song plays with vocal harmonies between wailing high-pitched lines and very low heartbroken ones. Complementing those are a set of lead synths/keyboards that feel bright and hopeful, only to be shattered by the dark basslines beneath it. That juxtaposition put me in a state of searching only to find nothing and wandering only to get further lost. The percussion can’t be left without praise as well as it has a sense of being futuristic as well as cinematic.
It makes you feel like you’re in a hazy landscape searching for that loved person you lost, only to be met with the wailing vocals confirming how you’ll never find them again. The track is beautifully heart-shattering and works as a soundtrack/score for a beautiful tale of loss, but it’s also listenable on its own and that’s mindblowing. I imagined it played in the middle of a movie as sad as its lyrics, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it as a standalone composition that’s been crafted with mastery and deep emotional detail.