rock will never die
   rock will never die

Harlem Lake

The Mirrored Mask


Titel: The Mirrored Mask

Vö: 20.09.2024

Produced by: Dave Warmerdam



Harlem Lake is a rock ´n´ soul formation from the Netherlands - tied around the band´s founder Dave Warmerdam and vocalist and front woman Janne Timmer- which upheaved the music world quite extensively during the past few years. Justifiably they won the 2022 European Blues Challenge and frequently excite concert goers with their stirring live-shows.


For those of you who cannot wait until September, you'll be able to purchase the album exclusively on the upcoming release tour. It will be available on CD with a release on vinyl to follow.

For tour dates check below the album review.


And it begins furiously. “Carry on”, the opener of this new longplayer, and its first release, is a sassy bluesrocker with a snotty string-sound, pondering the possibility of having an affair.    Janne`s voice is clearly convincing right from the start, intoxicating, rebellious, sexy. The determined sound carpet is underlined with horn sections, which the band has put to use lately. Included are a saxophone, trumpet and trombone. A perfect start.

The band´s then following workflow proves the initial enthusiasm of the opener. Most of the songs are arranged around a mid-tempo area, sometimes with flooding rhythm, straight forward components and strong lyrics, which are also thought-provoking,


With „Fooled again“ putting on the brakes tempo-wise, the song is becoming a brisk mid-tempo number with forceful sound and once again contributing brass sound bodies, as well as fast-paced lyrics.


Next, the protagonist focuses intensely on her deepest emotional timbre, and with “To tell you I´m sorry” delivers a deeply moving interpersonal ballad. Band founder Dave Warmerdam distinctively comes to the fore in this one. His versatility, paired with high quality characteristics on the Hammond organ, makes him the best artist on keys not only in our friendly neighboring country, but also well across its borders.


Testament to this fact is the qualification of the semi-finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2017. Combined with Jannes’s timbre you cannot avoid goosebumps while listening to “To tell you I´m sorry”, but rather put the cartridge right back at the beginning groove.


photo by: Maaike Ronhaar


Inevitable is a somewhat more detailed mentioning of another member of the band: Sonny Ray Van Den Berg. His performance on the six-string is no less significant as Dave Warmerdam`s Hammond-sound. Whether highly emotional solo parts or catchy, brimming riffs - Sunny, along with drummer Benjamin Torbijn, and bass player Kjelt Ostendorf, forms this amazing sound carpet of Harlem Lake. Being as young as he is, there’s definitely a great career ahead. Joe Bonamassa sends his regards.


Right after „Beggars can’t choose” really resonated with you, and you’ve secretly dusted off your long-forgotten dancing skills in the living-room, “The thought of us”, yet another emotionally balladic song to be found on “The Mirrored Mask”, gives you…silence.

In this song about the ending of a romance the singer again impresses with outstanding vocals; those are completely intertwined with the content of the lyrics, actually painting their picture with this incredible vocal performance.


Telling a compelling interpersonal story, “Crying in the desert” follows as one of the emotional cornerstones of the album. The young musicians are presenting themselves way beyond their age; the protagonist finds herself in the midst of a desert, marked by life, without aim and purpose, outfitted with the proverbial weapon, maybe as a last escape, in his pocket. The song is rounded off by Sonny Ray’s deeply moving outro.


Who then turns around to open the following, emotionally charged prelude to “The mirrored mask”, the title song of this longplayer, with vehemently driven characteristics. The lead singer’s gripping vocals, paired with a glanderous, rocking sound carpet, make this track one of the most powerful on the whole album.


Temptation“ rocks along in a casual unleashing way and stays stuck in your ear whilst blasting  whippingly from your speakers. It’s a song that plays with the idea to color outside the lines while being in a relationship.

Harlem Lake fades out the album with a BANG! in the style of Nutbush City. “Jack in the box” once again invites you, forces you, to put on your dancing shoes, and is convincing from start to finish!


photo by Maaike Ronhaar


To sum it up:


The Mirrored Mask“ presents itself as an album consisting of many contrasts, dynamics, determination and vehemence. It catapults the Americana-sound into orbit like no other European Band to this day. The quintet from the Netherlands sounds like a hand-picked ensemble with a profound musical impact, that’s what it’s all about. This fact, but especially Janne’s brilliant vocal performance, contribute to “The Mirrored Mask” being an extraordinary work of music. There is not one track on this album, where her timbre wouldn’t fit. The gift of her voice creates an instant bond with each song.



Translation: Sandra B.



All lyrics by J. Timmer.  
Carry On - music: D. Warmerdam, J. Timmer, S.R. van den Berg
Fooled Again - music: Harlem Lake
To Tell You I’m Sorry - music: D. Warmerdam, J. Timmer
Beggars Can’t Choose - music: Harlem Lake
The Thought Of You - music: Harlem Lake
Crying In A Desert - music: Harlem Lake
The Dessert - music: Harlem Lake
Prelude -  music: S.R. van den Berg, D. Warmerdam
The Mirrored Mask - music: S.R. van den Berg, J. Timmer
Temptation - music: Harlem Lake
Jack In The Box - music: D. Warmerdam, J. Timmer

Harlem Lake: S.R. van den Berg, K. Ostendorf, J. Timmer, B. Torbijn, D. Warmerdam.

Lead vocals: Janne Timmer
Keys: Dave Warmerdam
Guitars: Sonny Ray van den Berg, Dave Warmerdam (6)
Bass: Kjelt Ostendorf
Drums: Benjamin Torbijn
Percussion: Benjamin Torbijn, Yannick van ter Beek
Saxophone: Jazzton Hulsebosch (1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Trumpet: Thomas Heikoop (1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Trombone: Maarten Combrink (1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Horn arrangements: Dave Warmerdam, Kjelt Ostendorf, Jazzton Hulsebosch
Backing vocals: Megan Zinschitz (1, 2, 3, 9, 11), Ashley de Jong (1, 2, 3, 9, 11), Dave Warmerdam (1, 2, 11), Kjelt Ostendorf (1, 2, 11)
Audio engineer: Anthony Maes
Produced & edited by Dave Warmerdam, Harlem Lake
Mixed by Guido Aalbers at GieSound Studio
Mastered by Andy VanDette

Recorded at Wedgeview Studios in Woerdense Verlaat, Backyard Studios in Noordwijkerhout & Abbey Road Studios in Amsterdam.

Artwork & illustration by Douwe Dijkstra
Graphic Design by Celine van Hoek