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angst is the Nits’ 19th studio album and their first since ‘Malpensa’ in 2012. Yet it’s also the Dutch band’s first-ever concept album, with each song a meticulously crafted cameo evoking the everyday life of the Netherlands’ most traumatic period – the years during and after the German occupation – based on stories told by vocalist/lyricist Henk Hofstede’s parents. This is no mere exercise in social realism, however. Rather, it’s a frequently dreamlike sequence of songs whose lushly detailed arrangements recall the Nits’ heyday – in particular, much-loved albums such as Giant Normal Dwarf (1990) and Ting (1992). And although Henk’s yearning vocals are, as ever, centre stage, both keyboard player Robert Jan Stips and percussionist Rob Kloet are at their peak, adding constantly surprising colours and texture. With angst, Nits prove themselves once again to be that rarest of creatures: a veteran band in their fifth decade whose creativity remains undimmed.

Chris Evans