Sounds Like Van Spirit – A Collection Of Europe’s Pavement Melodies

Do any of your records make you jealous?


I know that’s an odd question, but go with me. I am frequently jealous of the people who got to experience amazing live recordings. I envy the people who were there for Elton John’s 11-17-70, the ones in the studio with John Peel and the White Stripes, and basically anybody who saw the Highwaymen live.

With Sounds Like Van Spirit, I am jealous of the producer, not the audience. Basically, some dude built a rolling recording studio and traveled around Europe recording street musicians and then pressed those recordings on vinyl.

Why the hell didn’t I think of that?!?!?!


This album is truly amazing. There is a huge variety of sounds and they are ordered on the record in such a way that it does not ever feel stale. Yes, Sounds Like Van Spirit is essentially a recording of the greatest coffee house open-mic in European history. But, there is diversity aplenty.


The stripped-down nature of the recordings do give everything on this record a singer-songwriter feel at its core, but there is hip-hop, jazz swing, songs that sound like they belong on a Disney soundtrack, and really nice sounding songs in languages I cannot understand. Plus, more than one surprising cover song.

The array of musical styles ebb and flow throughout Sounds Like Van Spirit as well as moods. Happiness, heartbreaking sadness, silly fun, and everything in between can be found here on this album.

Sounds Like Van Spirit is definitely one of the most unique collections of songs I own. I am not sure of when the best time to spin this record will be…maybe when I am in an indecisive mood.

My favorite track: Alpine Dweller – Girl in Oil


Some other notable songs:

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