Based on opposite sides of the North Sea, Matt Arthur (London) and Jara Holdert (Amsterdam) met in a brief moment of serendipity in the summer of 2016 at an open mic in her hometown. The two years that followed this meeting were spent writing songs over WhatsApp, hanging-out on FaceTime and visiting each other – when they could afford it – to play acoustic shows together.
In particular, it was when performing for audiences in London and Amsterdam, that The Coo really started to find their sound. “We could start and end songs on stage whenever we liked, or we could change melodies and arrangements on the spot and we knew that we would follow each other,” says Jara. “This made for a really unique and exciting energy”. Slowly but surely a deep musical and personal connection developed that is still growing today as they announce the release of the recordings they captured last April – The EP ‘Amsterdam Moon’
While most of The Coo’s current repertoire was written together, two of the tracks from ‘Amsterdam Moon’ are from a time when they were still finding their sound, improvising on each other’s songs and getting to know each other. ‘Rosie’ was a song that Matt had written a few years before they met, but that he was feeling really frustrated with:“It was difficult because for me there was just something missing” he says, “and then Jara started singing on it and it suddenly felt complete”. The song has become one of the favourites of their live sets and tells the story of the excitement and bafflement of new love upon an upbeat almost country-folk backdrop reminiscent of Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris and Bob Dylan & Joan Baez.
Watch ‘Rosie’ – BELOW:
In April 2019 international duo The Coo filled up an old synagogue in Amsterdam with friends and fans and recorded their debut EP completely raw and completely live. They wanted to capture the focus, vulnerability and delicate tension of an intimate performance and the sound that is at the essence of their collaboration: two singers excited to be singing with each other.
Amsterdam Moon – out May 15th 2020