Luwten - aka Amsterdam-based producer, songwriter and musician (Tessa Douwstra) - today releases a new self-directed and self-filmed video to accompany her latest single, ‘Standstill’. It’s lifted from her critically praised new album ‘Draft’, available now on Glassnote Records and streaming on all platforms from here. The video arrives alongside details for a further six date run of European live shows through October, which will follow a clutch of six summer shows, including London’s St Pancras Old Church on July 7, 2021. Watch the ‘Standstill’ video from here.

Speaking about the new, self-conceived and executed monochrome video - which harks back to the style of antique cameo portraits - Tessa says; This video was choreographed, filmed and directed by myself in my studio in Nijmegen in The Netherlands. The idea for the video was inspired by a photo Mariska Kerpel took of me using just a spot and a big piece of paper. It felt classic and analogue. Ideas stripped to the core and a main role for the circle, the moon, the sun - time. Lights were done by Torre Florim who has also been a great target to shoot ideas and really good at shooting them back to me. Edit was done by my long time collaborator Mcklin.

Speaking about the Bon Iver & James Blake-influenced ‘Standstill’ Tessa says; Sometimes it can feel like time just passes. The sun comes up and goes down while the moon keeps orbiting earth, following the same path over and over again. As if things are out of our control moving on and circling meaninglessly. Until it all comes to a standstill. Can we choose to stop and change direction if we want to?

Douwstra adopted ‘luwten’ - a Dutch word simply meaning ‘place without wind’ - as the moniker for her solo abstract pop project, enamoured with the creative process of “working in a total vacuum”. Her EP of late 2020 ‘Door’ bore the unambiguous title that reflected, in Tessa’s own words; “A study of a perfectionist who acknowledges that everything’s in a constant state of flux”. For a young Tessa, flux became the norm with her parents’ divorce, shuttling her between two cities. Spurred by a love of singing discovered in church, Tessa retreated into sketching songs on piano and guitar, later her computer. Friends were recruited to act in ‘television series’ shot on an old camera of Tessa’s, whilst a Fisher Price tape recorder was repurposed to capture pilot episodes of a radio show.

The material gathered on ‘Draft’ marks an opening up of that that space, allowing some outside influence to rush in. Speaking about the ideas of agency, control and freedom which spur her processes, Tessa notes; “How much of being alone is because it’s helpful? Does being alone help being authentic? Or is looking for authenticity something you could or even should look for with others? I noticed I’m writing a lot about thinking versus feeling and being alone versus being together with other people. I love the idea of music as self-exploration. For the maker as well as the listener.” Luwten transmutes different sounds together with warmth: taking cues from Steve Reich, Olafur Eliasson and Teebs, Tessa’s production laces field recordings and organic noise with electronic sounds and live instrumentation. On ‘Draft’, these intuitive productions are guided by a spirit of improvisation, which Tessa likens to ‘dressing up as a kid’, whilst vocally Tessa is influenced by the resonance of D'Angelo, Solange & Frank Ocean.

All these songs are reaching out in a certain way; the embrace and empathy in Luwten’s music lie in the process itself. She’s looking for new ways, without reading the manual first. Douwstra digs deeper into these ideas on her podcast series, ‘Drafts’, in which she discusses process & inspiration with other musicians - a recent episode sees Luwten joined by Charlotte Adigéry, with their conversation streaming from here.


  • 4 June NETHERLANDS Fluor, Amersfoort
  • 5 June NETHERLANDS Gebouw T, Bergen Op Zoom
  • 6 June NETHERLANDS Luxor Live, Arnhem
  • 7 July UK St Pancras Old Church, London
  • 9 July LUXEMBOURG Neimenster, Luxembourg
  • 31 July NETHERLANDS Grasnapolsky, Scheemda
  • 17 October NETHERLANDS Hengelo, Metropool
  • 18 October FRANCE Paris, Le Pop Up Du Label
  • 19 October BELGIUM Brussels, AB club
  • 20 October NETHERLANDS Amsterdam, Paradiso
  • 24 October NETHERLANDS Rotterdam, Rotown
  • 27 October NETHERLANDS Utrecht, TivoliVredenburg


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