Learn German with the music of duo Tränen!

Learn German with Music of Tränen

In 2019, Kraftklub frontman Felix Kummer experimented with going solo. He released the album Kiox and went to the top of the album charts. Well, the idea of Kraftklub members taking on side projects seems to be catching on. This time Kraftklub’s longtime guitarist, Steffen Israel, has struck out on his own in search of new musical collaborators. Israel has united with Gwen Dolyn, the one-time frontwoman of Gwen Dolyn & the Toyboys, to form the side project Tränen.

So this month, let’s get to know Tränen and learn German with music!

Get to Know the band Tränen

Tränen is Gwen Dolyn (born Gwendolyn Schneider-Rothhaar) and Steffen Israel (born Steffen Thiede). Israel has played guitar for Kraftklub since the group’s founding in 2010. Dolyn joined forces with the Frankfurt-based Toyboys in 2020 after she left Berlin in search of a new adventure.

Dolyn and Israel’s collaboration came into existence after Dolyn decided she wanted to record a cover of German punk bank Chaos Z’s “Duell der Letzten.” Israel was up for the challenge and the pair took to the studio to put their spin on the classic track.

The pair were so happy with the results that they decided to collaborate on an entire album. And they did not waste any time. Their first full-length recording, Haare eines Hundes, was released less than a year later.

Music of Tränen

With a running time of just under a half-hour, the duo’s debut album, Haare eines Hundes, embodies a bit of a punk rock attitude and expression. But in terms of sound, the album leans more towards a synthy 1980s-inspired pop sound.

The album’s first track comes in guns blazing and holding nothing back. But instead of expressing aggression, “Es ist nicht wie es aussieht” is a pitch-perfect Deutsch pop ballad that is so light it floats. In comparison, the first single from the band and the album, “Stures dummes Herz,” feels like a better reflection of their goal. Synth melodies pop and a rapid pace pulls listeners in while Dolyn’s vocals are likable and strong. For me, one of the stronger tracks is the darker and more confident pop of “Schießen lernen.”

Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!

Photo by Stefanie Schmid Rincon, courtesy of Landstreicher Booking. This post contains affiliate links.

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