Donna Blue

In The Realm of Love

Out March 8, 2024

Snowstar Records

Donna Blue are musical collaborators and couple Danique van Kesteren and Bart van Dalen from the Netherlands who create chic and bilingual (English/French) 60’s pop with a psychedelic haze, and a dreamy chamber pop noir-romanticism. To be filed under Nancy & Lee, Serge Gainsbourg and Julee Cruise with inspiration also drawn from film composers such as Ennio Morricone, Piero Piccioni and John Barry. It’s a sound that leads the way into the bygone world of poets, dreamers, the hazy Côte d’Azur, and old 60’s spy movies.


Donna Blue’s new second album Into The Realm of Love (out 8th March 2024 via Snowstar Records) follows the duo’s debut long-player Dark Roses (2022) which won them fans in high places with Elton John playing them on his Beats1 Rocket Hour radio show and Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6 Music, with radio support internationally across US and much of mainland Europe, with the duo also touring these territories with showcase as Austin’s SXSW and a Paste Session recorded in New York. To date their music has amassed over 10 million streams.


Into The Realm of Love’s dreamy vintage romanticism is mirrored in the often-esoteric subject matter of the songs, blending mythology, the celestial, exotica, and noir-romanticism with personal songs that talk of the duo’s more contemporary experiences and a love of classic storytelling inspired by 1960’s artists such as duos Nancy & Lee, Serge & Jane, and Ramses & Liesbeth. We see the latter on ‘Aphrodite’, described by Donna Blue as “A duet written as a sort of myth” about a man trying to prove his worth to a woman only interested in what he can do for her, and on the 60’s baroque pop of ‘The Hunter’ which re-writes the tale of Cupid for our more cynical modern times. The modern dating scene is also explored on the  seductive siren call and album’s first single ‘Fantasy Girl’ described by Donna Blue as being about “The illusive seductions of the online world, a place that is constantly inviting you to fall in love with a fantasy version of yourself, and of other,” with its grainy dreamlike sonics playing out like an obscure vintage soundtrack; whilst ‘The Cusp of Love’ – its spiritual jazz taking influence from like Sun-Ra, Pharaoh Sanders and Laurindo Almeida –  is a mediative and hypnotic rumination on the pull of the physical intimacy in times of doubt.


The psychedelic album opening ‘Harmony of Spheres’ takes the listener on a trippier path, both sonically and lyrically, as it explores how celestial bodies (the sun, moon, and planets) move as a form of music. “Everything around us is emitting a kind of hum, an unseen realm that only you can enter when you listen to your soul” expands Donna Blue. “What if you happen to come across this universal sound in the form of love (two people orbiting around each other in perfect harmony), or perhaps a song idea that somehow feels more special than the others?”


Then there’s the upbeat ‘Labyrinth’ gloriously sounding like it’s been re-discovered from the vaults of the bygone Yé-Yé era whilst lyrically telling a cautionary tale of the trials modern-era music industry.


The glorious album closing track ’In Blue’ needs a mention for its enchanting steady groove and seductive whistle working towards a lush crescendo at the album’s end. Awash with a dreamy nostalgia and effortless cool that perfectly summarises the vibe of In The Realm of Love as a whole.