acoustic-folk artist gregory alan isakov is inspired by a life full of travel when writing songs, capturing the unique feeling of a place with delicate guitar licks complimented by accompanying strings and piano. it was his 5th studio album, the weatherman, that caught the attention of indie listeners in 2013 and propelled isakov into the mainstream. the albums opens with easy melody “amsterdam,” which inspired a vibrant molly mutt pattern that is “easy on the eyes,” just like the subject of the song.
if you have been to amsterdam before, it is the meandering flower-lined canals and colorful windmills that visually characterize the city. a meeting of water and wind, amsterdam is a bustling urban center than has somehow maintained a “quaint” european feel. its narrow twisting streets lead to an endless source of seemingly undiscovered coffee houses, cafes and quiet doorways awaiting serendipitous moments. the tight architecture of the city holds its visitors closely, allowing an intimate relationship to be built quickly. like our own domestic apartments filled with treasures and knick-knacks, amsterdam is adorned with green spaces, quirky spots to dine and cultural gems like the van gogh museum and anne frank house.
in the four verse song isakov makes reference to the streets, kites on the wind and hands coming together while moving through the city, painting a sense of familiarity similar to that which the city itself evokes. the first 3 verses, quiet and almost quaint, build to the climax of the 4th verse where the ease of amsterdam is interrupted, leaving the subject of the song with a longing for home. this song is about the simple comfort of belonging to a place and a person, the way that we belong to our homes and to our dogs, and vise versa. the vibrant hue of the molly mutt “amsterdam” pattern is orange like the dutch football team’s color and features a rounded latticed pattern similar to that of a window in a quaint european town.
originally from south africa, raised in philadelphia and now calling colorado home, all of gregory alan isakov’s music is veiled in a sense of longing – searching for meaning and the proverbial home. amsterdam is certainly open to interpretation, but the lyrics let the listener question whether he has found home in Holland’s largest city, where “all inside Our Amsterdam she hides.” we like to think the answer to that is yes, mirroring the home we find when seeing our sweet dog lie on this beautiful pattern.
now that you know all of this you will likely want to…