The solo albums of German singer-songwriter Thees Uhlmann have those ideal qualities that make them perfect for those of us who are learning the German language. Uhlmann’s delivery is clean and crisp. What makes many of his songs special is the understated simplicity; which, for a language learner, makes it easier for us to understand. This month I’m featuring Thees Uhlmann for learning German with music. Light, easy and personal, it’s easy to be drawn in by the music of Thees Uhlmann.
About Thees Uhlmann
Thees Uhlmann was born in the north of Germany in the town of Hemmoor on April 16, 1974. And although in 2011 Uhlmann only released his debut solo album, he is not new to the German indie music scene. He has a lot of musical experience.
Uhlmann was a founding member of the Hamburg indie rock band Warpigs. Several years later the band renamed themselves Tomte Tummetott. In 1994 they finally settled on the name as Tomte. The band, in all its incarnations, was a part of the same scene as Tocotronic. Although Tomte’s founding dates to the late 1980s, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that they finally released their debut studio album, Due weißt, was ich meine.
Tomte went on to release four additional studio albums before breaking up. Their earlier releases received mixed chart success. The band’s final two releases saw more commercial success. 2006’s Buchstaben über der Stadt and 2008’s Heureka EP both broke into the German top ten.
Music of Thees Uhlmann
A few years after the end of Tomte, Uhlmann returned to the German music scene with new releases. In 2011 he put out his self-titled debut solo album. From the black and white cover photo where Uhlmann’s guitar is given priority over himself to the personal style of the stories he paints in the songs, the album pays tribute to Bruce Springsteen. But Uhlmann is even handed with references to his hero The Boss and true to himself. The album of indie pop songs includes an appearance by raspy-voiced rapper Casper on the track & Jay-Z singt uns ein Lied.
Uhlmann followed up his self-titled album relatively quickly with a new album in 2013. The record is simply and aptly titled #2. Relatively speaking, Uhlmann goes for a somewhat larger and more driving sound on his sophomore album. It’s all about indie pop anthems that soar with group sing-along style choruses. As a listener it is inviting. But the smooth melodies that fall so easily on your ears are still there.
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Photo by Ingo Pertramer and is courtesy Grand Hotel van Cleef. This post contains affiliate links.