There remained a suspicion, though, that Hofstede may have expended some of his best music on a solo album -- comprising music written for a video installation -- called Het Draagbare Huis "The Portable House". The trio enlisted the string ensemble Mondriaan Quartet for 's Les Nuits, and in , returning to a more tight-knit indie trio, Doing the Dishes became the band's first Dutch Top Ten album, peaking at number eight. They followed it up a year later with the like-minded Strawberry Wood, which reached the number 11 spot.
Nits returned three years later with Malpensa, which cracked the Top 50 in , before issuing the three-disc compilation Nits? Collecting live recordings from , the latter became their highest-charting album yet when it reached number five.
Seemingly at the height of their popularity entering their fifth decade as a band, the studio LP Angst followed in Sign In. Top Songs See All. Essential Albums. In the Dutch Mountains Albums See All. Knot Angst Malpensa Wool Dankzij De Dijken Da Da Da Pockets of Rain - Single Flowershop Forget-Me-Not - Single Influenced by British pop music, especially the Beatles , they also incorporated influences from new wave music into their sound.
They made their live debut in ,  and released their self-financed, limited-run debut LP, The Nits , in Their major-label debut, Tent , carried on the new wave style of The Nits , but was considerably more polished, partly due to the influence of producer Robert Jan Stips. On New Flat and Work , which made increasing use of synthesisers , "Hofstede reveals a growing aptitude for creating little emotional postcards. In retrospect, however, those records could be seen as learning experiences of a world-class band now deserving international attention.
In the meantime, the group had been developing their sound on their numerous European tours. Many songs were radically reworked for live performance, a practice the group would continue throughout their career. Between the group's experiments with different arrangements, and the addition of Stips to the line-up, The Nits gradually moved toward a more distinctive musical style, with Kloet playing a wide range of percussion, and Stips' keyboards used to produce a lusher sound.
Omsk showcased the new Nits sound with songs like "A Touch of Henry Moore", almost entirely based around Kloet's percussion, and the dramatic hit single "Nescio".
The follow-up "Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof" was another hit, but tensions between the group and producer Jaap Eggermont led to the departure of Peters, and a change in the group's working methods. In future, they would produce their own material and bring in guest musicians as required. The album Henk - which included such classic songs as Bike In Head, Home Before Dark and Port Of Amsterdam - was recorded as a three-piece, after which new bassist Joke Geraets became the first female member of The Nits, completing the line-up that would go on to enjoy commercial success with single and album In the Dutch Mountains Its title track became a European hit and one of the band's biggest.
It was accompanied by a video with just the image of man in a rowing boat. Follow-up J. Days was a successful single as well. The group's extensive tours during this period led to the accomplished live triple-LP Urk which became their best-selling album. The live version of Adieu Sweet Bahnhof was released as a single, again accompanied by a video. It became a Top 30 hit for the band in Holland. When Geraets fell ill with a muscular disease, meaning that she was unable to play bass, the group now using the shortened name "Nits", often rendered in capitals to emphasise the absence of the definite article continued as a trio.
Giant Normal Dwarf was a kaleidoscopic affair which at first glance seemed like a return to the psychedelia of " I Am the Walrus " and " Glass Onion " but was actually inspired by Hofstede's desire to write musical fairy tales for his newborn child. The subsequent album Ting was a return to a much more minimalist approach, both with respect to the emphasis on the piano and the inspiration of Philip Glass on several songs. At the same time as working on Ting , the group were also preparing material for a TV special with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The album dA dA dA was something of a return to basics, with "traditional" songwriting largely replacing the quirkiness of recent Nits releases, and the group's early influences once again to the fore. The album was the first Nits material to gain a release in the United States. Ironically for a group that had always performed in English, regarding it as a necessary evil for international success, recognition in the major English-speaking markets always eluded them.
Although Hofstede's melodies had often betrayed the odd Beatles influence, this only came to the fore on the Nits' album Omsk. Where before the band's reluctance to conform had often resulted in a self-conscious quirkiness, suddenly it showed signs of blossoming into something with genuine depth and distinctiveness.
Something moreover that drew as much on European traditions like chanson and musical theater as it did on British and American pop. It was also no accident that the album marked the arrival of keyboard player Robert Jan Stips. Having previously worked with the band as a producer, the one-time Golden Earring and Supersister member gave the Nits a whole new orchestral dimension with his rich array of individually tailored samples. Omsk and the mini-album that followed it six months later -- Kilo -- also established Hofstede as a genuinely gifted singer.
Most listeners instantly picked up on his voice's John Lennon -ish edge, but there was also a touch of Elvis Costello -- without the ever-looming threat of a sneer -- in the way Hofstede nailed a ballad like "Dapper Street" or "Mask. In the years that followed Omsk, the Nits always seemed to be on a mission never to retrace their own musical footsteps. Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof in , helmed by Stars on 45 producer Jaap Eggermont, was the closest they'd come to courting commercial success to that point, though it included two of their most memorable songs in "Mask" and the title track.
Henk followed in , an album whose heavy reliance on sampled sounds and surrealistic songs like "Port of Amsterdam" and "Bike in Head" contrasted sharply with both its glossy predecessor and the altogether more sober album In the Dutch Mountains, whose title track gave the band their biggest hit to date.
That in turn was followed in by the kaleidoscopic Giant Normal Dwarf, conceived by Hofstede as a kind of fairy tale for his newborn child, but sounding more than anything like a joyous expedition to the candy-striped psychedelia of "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Glass Onion. In , Ting was a more stripped-back affair, with Stips' piano the dominant sound, and later that year the Nits who were by then just known as Nits recorded Hjuvi with a full symphony orchestra.
Mostly composed by Stips, the piece mixed songs with instrumental compositions in the style of composers ranging from Satie to the Gershwins, and was mostly led by Stips at the piano. Da Da Da followed in , even securing a release in the U. By this point, the Nits were reduced to a three-piece, with Alex Roelofs having left in and Michiel Peters following in Though subsequently they were often augmented by other musicians, they remained a trio until when Stips also departed to form his own band, Stips Egotrip, leaving only founding members Hofstede and Rob Kloet.Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Angst - Nits on AllMusic - Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Angst - Nits on AllMusic - Yellow Socks & Angst. Nits. Amazon: 2: Flowershop Forget-Me-Not. Nits. Amazon: 3: Radio Orange.