In the beginning of 2014 I heard or read about a musician who came highly recommended. A somewhat outlandish Belgian/Dutch man, who had just released an album, made all by himself, that was highly regarded, internationally as well.
Martijn William Zimri Teerlinck
The Child of Lov’s real name (who was also known as Cole Williams) was Martijn William Zimri Teerlinck. He was born in Belgium and raised in the Netherlands in the towns of Dedemsvaart, Alkmaar and Amsterdam.
Martijn was a singer, musician, producer and poet. Was, indeed. Due to his bad health (he suffered from the Marfan syndrome) Martijn had to undergo surgery in 2013. Complications ensued. He died on December 10th, 2013, just 26 years old.
During his time in Amsterdam he studied literary theory and Italian and started composing poems. In 2010 he won the Nederlands Kampioenschap Poetry Slam (Dutch Championship Poetry Slam). But music was the way forward.
The Child Of Lov – The artist
“Lov” isn’t short for “Love”, but supposedly is an abbreviation for Light-Oxygen-Voltage.
On November 26th, 2012, the debut single Heal was released, followed by his second single Give Me in January of 2013, of which Pitchfork was granted the first public announcement.
Unfortunately, The Child Of Lov never performed live. He could be heard live only once, on BBC radio. On May 9th, 2013, he performed the songs Fly and Give Me. In 2013 he was booked to play the prestigious Glastonbury festival, and the Dutch Best Kept Secret festival. The shows were canceled, because:
I’m a perfectionist, and I want to translate my music to a live setting the most perfect way imaginable, because I firmly and religiously believe that is what my music deserves.
Later on his health wouldn’t permit it anymore.
Due to his minimal media performances and canceled concerts, he was surrounded in mystery. At the time of his debut album’s release almost nothing was known about this new artist. Even his nationality was a puzzle, given the album’s review in Dutch music magazine OOR. Sometimes, he would appear in public in a wheelchair. At the time (almost) no-one knew what was going on with his health. Despite the mystery (or is it because of the mystery?) The Child Of Lov won The Philip Hall Radar Award on February 27th, 2013, which gets awarded to promising new artists, during the annual NME Awards. The Child Of Lov had released just two singles at the time.
The Child Of Lov – The album
On May 6th, 2013, The Child Of Lov released his debut album, titled The Child Of Lov. I missed the release at first, but I read about it in an interview probably at the end of 2013. On March 4th, 2014, my music-collection got enriched by this astonishingly good (debut) album.
Apart form the facts that:
the album features (thanks to his manager’s connections) guest appearances by international artists: Blur/Gorillaz’ Damon Albarn, Thundercat and MF Doom.
The music is not easy translated into words. R&B, funk, psychedelica, soul, avant-garde. All the labels fit.
The Child Of Lov had this to say about his album:
‘I think it’s an album, it is music that stems from loneliness. I made music in my room, by myself. I think you can hear it. But at the same time, it is music to dance to, or celebrate to. Just like the blues, it’s about deep sorrow, but it brings people together. A lot of music, be it gospel or hiphop, is about those same issues. Sorrow and happiness. That balance, is what good music is about.’
© 2013, djbroadcast.net
It’s remarkable that The Child Of Lov also states that lyrics are not important to him. Certainly given his prior poetry work, it’s striking. Despite his remarks, his lyrics are beautiful, at times full of religious symbolism. It’s clear that the lyrics were treated with a lot of attention:
Down by the river Jordan
I’m gonna lift you up
Down by the river Jordan
I’m gonna bring the sound
Maybe this is time for goodbye
I really need my wings to fly
I’m up in the sky
© 2013, The Child Of Lov – Fly
The album has quite a few highlights. The production is impressive and multi-layered. The vocal parts have several layers and are ingenious. D’Angelo’s Voodoo supposedly was a source of inspiration for the album. As far as production is concerned, that seems accurate.
I play this album very regularly and every time I am in awe by the fact this was all done by an unknown man, putting it all together in his room. The end result is surprisingly rich, varied. It all sounds very ‘mature’ (for lack of a better word).
On top of that: it is super funky. The influences are broader than just D’Angelo. Sly Stone, Prince and Questlove can be heard also. The complexity of the vocal harmonies are breathtaking at times.
I can not recommend this album enough. Not to be missed!
All songs written, arranged, produced and performed by The Child Of Lov.
- Call Me Up
- One Day (featuring Damon Albarn)
- Living The Circle
- Give Me (featuring Thundercat)
- Go With The Wind
- Owl (featuring DOOM)
- Give It To The People
To the music world it was a big shock when The Child Of Lov died. As stated before, just a small group of people was aware of his disease. His manager: “This was a young guy, who lived his life in the shadows of death. From the moment I met him two years ago, I knew he could die every day.”
Knowing what we know now it’s enticing to analyze The Child Of Lov’s lyrics for hints. I gladly leave that up to others.
After his passing The Child Of Lov’s management released this statement:
On behalf of the family and as his manager I must announce that Martijn Teerlinck aka Cole Williams aka The Child of Lov aka Sun Patzer is no longer with us. He lived a life of struggle and can now rest peacefully. In his own words: ‘When I was younger, I had a tough time physically. I have seen too many hospital beds. It made me stronger. Makes you realize death is always near, for anyone. And what a wonderful thing life is and how grateful we should be.’
Do you know this album? What’s your opinion? Let me know!
The Child Of Lov – BBC Radio 1 – Maida Vale Studios image: bbc.co.uk
The Child Of Lov image: pitchfork.com
The Child Of Lov – The Child Of Lov image: ponikuta.com
The Child of Lov – The Philip Hall Radar Award – 02/27/2013 image: metro.co.uk
The Child Of Lov – Press photo image: dominorecordco.com