Album Review 'Play Nice' (2020)
OF MAN AND MICE
From the first notes, Play Nice brings me to the mouse hole in the wall, right there on the floor. It's an entrance to a place where mice live, the doorway to unknown, tiny lives. And inside the little house, father and mother mouse, raise their kids and try to protect them from clear and present danger - they can only come about when the cat is out. And In the evening, when all seems quiet and safe, Dax' record is played on the little mice record player... while outside the cat is listening too, sweeping her tale, stretching her claw, snoozing with one eye open' waiting.
Dax is a master in depicting classic human issues in small window frames. Like a full movie in a passport photograph, a life in a 2.41 minutes song. The wonderful melodies and chord changes, her sweet singing and ostensibly simple playing, caress the big problems in the tiny lives she sings about. Sung imperturbably like the sweetest lullaby and embedded in a musical lushness that is the audible equal of a flower meadow in spring, Dax' fragile but effective musical elaboration creates unique atmospheres and - at least in my head - a decorum with a twist. Maybe that is why I picture Play Nice as a soundtrack to the film adaption of the kids book The Kitten Who Thought He Was A Mouse - the first sweet, then disturbing story about a kitten who is raised by mice and then becomes the only one that just can't see he isn't really one them. A sweet story, with a troubling message about belonging.
The same thing goes for my impression Dax' songs. They would all perfectly fit the sweetest pink and silk scenery in a romantic drama about hope and dreams in a suburban coming of age movie, set in the American south. Homes with porches, lemon water and rocking chairs, high school sweethearts and hidden misfits. Dreamy and away, soft as peach, but also just a few notes away from terror. A lovely hint of worry prevents from dozing off in a sofa-swing under the sycamore tree, suddenly turning the page into real life horror rising from the deep, like Jaws.
So, these beautiful, softly sung songs, these miniature stories and melodies played so lush, also bear a gloomy, darker side underneath. A present, but untouchable part that keeps us aware of possible danger, trouble in paradise. Play Nice is of pure beauty and sweetness, but hell's around the corner. Just like in the real lives of man. And mice. -Paul Dezentjé
Oh Mr. Rabbit(Official Music Video)
Two weeks ago I went to the dentist. I came back home and half of my face was broken. I had to use the broken face somehow so I decided to make a video of myself dancing so that I at least had something in case it would be useful. A couple of days after I watched back the footage and thought it would be perfect for Oh Mr. Rabbit. So I made a rabbit and we danced together.
All They Do Is Dream(Live Session)
All They Do Is Dream live from my living room.
Performed together with Dean Tippet.
Eat Candy (Official Music Video)
Eat Candy is one of the first songs I wrote from Play Nice.
It is also the first video clip I made. I was still in the process of my previous album and making the set for the Love Is Overrated clip but I wrote this and really wanted to try and make a video for it. It was a lot of fun to play around with. I filmed it on my balcony in Rotterdam about 2 years ago. Time seems to fly.
Monkey (Live Session)
Monkey Live from my living room.
Performed together with Dean Tippet , Cloué and Benjamin de Raad .
Play Nice (Official Music Video)
This is the music video for my new song 'Play Nice'.
The video is directed and edited by Marie Diamant.
It was a lot of fun to make.
Mastered by Dean Tippet
I Tell Little Lies (Live Session)
I Tell Little Lies performed live with Benjamin de Raad in my living room.
I Tell Little Lies (Official Music Video)
It's the second single from my new album Play Nice.
Everything you see and hear is made by me. I hope you like it.
Mastered by Dean Tippet.
The Bird (Official Music Video)
Benjamin De Raad plays the bird.
It's the first single from my new album Play Nice. I filmed this on super 8 at the beach in The Hague on a super windy day in October 2019. Mastered by Dean Tippet.