is a rare appearance in the Dutch music scene. She’s a one of a kind singer/songwriter and is blessed with a stunning deep voice. Her music has an entirely unique place within the music industry because she writes and sings in a dialect called Gronings. This dialect is spoken in the province of Groningen and is part of the Dutch Low Saxon language that covers the northeastern part of the Netherlands and northwest Germany.
In 2018 Marlene officially released her highly praised debut album RAIF. Her album received a five star review in Dagblad van het Noorden and Leeuwarder Courant. Heaven Pop magazine and the MusicMaker are also very enthusiastic about RAIF and gave the album four stars. "So far it's the best album of the year", Frits Spits said on national Dutch radiostation NPO Radio1.
Marlene received the prestigious Streektaalprijs (Regional Language Award) for her album. Her single 'Waarkhanden' was awarded with the Bosklopper Bokaal which is a price for best song in Low Saxon Dialect. Waarkhanden is written together with Bernard Gepken who also produced the album. The song is about going back to your hometown and roots after having been away for a long time. The feeling of being homesick together with the fear of going back are mixed in this song, in which you can conclude that blood is thicker than water.
Marlene Bakker's long-awaited new album 'Oaventuren' was released in September. While people often anxiously await the 'difficult second album', Marlene knows how to wipe away any doubts because her album Oaventuren is once again showered with great reviews. Eric Scipio van Domburg wrote; "While Raif was a big surprise five years ago, with Oaventuren Bakker proves that she is certainly not inferior to an album sung in Dutch or English, released by a major record company." (4½ stars, - Heaven Magazine)
Never before was the Groninger dialect connected to cinematic arrangements that sound so contemporary, in which the songs of a singer-songwriter are carefully draped in dreamy and broad sounds. Raif is a unique listening experience, a serene and melancholic spell which is lovingly crafted and captured into an indiepop sound. Somehow it's just incredibly romantic.
"This is unbelievably beautiful..!" (Daniël Lohues)
"Check this out! The way she sings Gronings is beautiful!" (Nynke Laverman)
"Marlene Bakker is an endearing stage personality who carries the entire performance effortlessly with her beautiful, unbreakable voice. Marlene Bakker's songs are characterized by a certain vulnerability, and this is not violated throughout the performance. No annoying chatter from the audience but appreciated attention and an ovational applause." (Harmen Boerwinkel, Meppeler Courant)
"What a stunningly beautiful voice Bakker has. It has gained in strength since Raif. She sang the spots almost off the grid, crystal clear and subtly assisted by her two musicians. Unpretentious class." (Eric Nederkoorn - Festival Noorderzon 2023)
“Bakker's dialect is a completely different, almost mythical language. The audience tonight is absolutely silent from the first note.” (Eindhoven Rockcity)
"She enchants and manages to put on an intimate show with a language that is foreign to many. It is beautiful when you understand it, but actually just as beautiful if you can't make heads or tail of it." (OOR)
"For many, the Low Saxon dialect is a language they do not master, but in the case of Oaventuren that does not bother the listener. The way its written and played makes it very clear what this album is about. The whole album is fantastically written, arranged and played. Bakker's voice may not be for everyone, but it fits perfectly in the Wilco-like atmosphere of this album." (Hidde Roorda, Musicmaker)
“Bakker has her own idiom and uses a poetic, warm variant of the Low Saxon dialect. Feelings of comfort, melancholy and longing alternately emerge from the grooves. She is best in small, vulnerable songs such as Stain and Sloaplaidje.” (4 stars, Martin Groenewold, Dagblad van het Noorden)
“Bakker once again proves that together with Bernard Gepken she can make an exemplary singer-songwriter record with one beautiful song after another. Songs that are not diminished for a second because they are sung in a regional language, perhaps even gaining extra impact. You just feel that this is where Bakker can express herself best. While Raif was a big surprise five years ago with Oaventuren, Bakker proves that she is certainly not inferior to an album sung in Dutch or English, released by a major record company." (4½ stars, Eric Scipio van Domburg - Heaven Magazine)
“Five years after her debut album Raif, the wait is amply rewarded with Oaventuren. Bakker writes beautifully melodic songs with Bernard Gepken that are easy to understand but never sound smooth or predictable. Oaventuren leads the listener from highlight to highlight, with a different surprising view each time.” (5 stars, Harm Peter Smilde, ZING Magazine)
"With Oaventuren, Marlene presents herself as a singer/songwriter to take seriously. No regional gimmick, but a beautiful voice full of poetry, which leaves the listener longing for Groningen." (Jurgen Vreugdenhil, Platomania)
"Oaventuren is an invitation to experience life the way it is and make the most of it. Marlene could not have made a more emphatic invitation to enjoy her music. This has become a very beautiful album! Very very beautiful." (4½ stars, Marcel Hartenberg, Written in Music)
"Oaventuren has become a record that you want to play as often as possible. It is not without reason that Marlene Bakker has now been embraced by radiostation 'Pinguin Plush'. After RAIF she did it again with Oaventuren. A second piece of art”. (Pieter Visscher, Pinguin Radio)
"There are so many beautiful emotions put into this album that it cannot leave you untouched. In fact, she is our very own Natalie Merchant, although no comparison really fits. Marlene Bakker brings something of her own that fits the idiosyncratic character of the North. Groningen is once again firmly on the map thanks to this overwhelmingly beautiful album! (Jan Willem Broek, The Subjectivists)
"Raif is a masterful debut that gives an impuls to dialect with contemporary pop and can reach far beyond our borders. (***** review Dagblad van het Noorden / Leeuwarder Courant)
"This debut by Marlene Bakker is extraordinary. Generously produced, with a star role for Bernard Gepken as a guitarist and co-composer, Bakker turns out to be a pop / rock singer-songwriter to keep an eye on." (**** star review Heaven Pop Magazine)
"She proves to be an excellent songwriter, whether or not together with Bernard Gepken. A fresh debut that sounds very different from the rest in her genre. It should be highly valued nationwide." (Platomania)
“With this debut album the singer/songwriter meets all the expectations. Bakker belongs to the best of the best in her genre” (**** review MusicMakerNL)
"Her warm and soulful voice conveys the poetic dialect lyrics in a very convincing way. Her storytelling is paramount. This combined with the Groninger dialect is a match made in heaven." (3voor12Groningen)
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