These two gentlemen, known together as Gloria, may look familiar to you. One is a known primarily as a member of the band Wir sind Helden, with whom he made four studio albums. The other is a well-known television moderator known for his talk shows and humorous gags. In 2013, Mark Tavassol (the musician) and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf (the television moderator) released their debut self-titled album as Gloria.
Regardless of what you might expect, given the backgrounds of the two men, the resulting music is extremely successful. They have made carefully constructed pop music with strong, driving melodies into their trademark.
So let’s get to know the duo better and practice your language skills with their music. This month, let’s learn German with Gloria!
Get to Know Gloria
Before Klaas Heufer-Umlauf and Mark Tavassol came together for Gloria, they were known for other things. Heufer-Umlauf currently hosts the television talkshow Late Night Berlin. But he is perhaps best known for his television partnership with Joko Winterscheidt. As Joko & Klaas they have hosted multiple talk shows as well as entertainment programs. The shows always have a taste of the pair’s silly sense of humor where seemingly nothing is off-limits or goes too far. (Even if the press and the public occasionally think otherwise!)
Mark Tavassol, the son of an Iranian father and German mother, spent his formative years in Hamburg. Although he studied medicine, it was music that called his name. He joined Wir sind Helden as a bass player at the invitation of the group’s drummer. With the quartet, Tavassol has released four albums that sold very well. Two of which topped the charts in Germany while the other two hit #2. Additionally, Tavassol has worked as a songwriter and collaborator with other musicians.
It is also worth noting that he is also the leader of the in-house band on Heufer-Umlauf’s Late Night Berlin.
Music of Gloria
The pair met in Hamburg in the mid-2000s. And within a few years, the seed was planted for a musical collaboration. In 2011, the pair began work on what would become their 2013 debut self-titled album.
Those familiar with Heufer-Umlauf may expect to find a certain wittiness or humor in Gloria. But the two are committed to making “real” music. I hesitate to use the term “serious,” as there are true humanity and a spirit in Gloria’s music.
The instrumentation features heavily on 2015’s Geister. Introductions are lengthier and the soaring melodies are fuller.
In 2017, the pair released Da, their third full-length album. On the record, the band continues in the direction they set out upon with their self-titled release. Gloria has a consistent sound of smooth melody-driven songs with Heufer-Umlauf’s vocals commanding attention without demanding it.
For those of us listening to Gloria with the intent to learn and practice German, it is a rewarding experience. Heufer-Umlauf’s style of singing makes it easy to understand the lyrics — and even sing along.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photo is courtesy of the band’s official website. This post contains affiliate links.