Muller’s songwriting style is a mish-mash of sounds, blending the raw rock aesthetic of the Rolling Stones with the sensual oomph of Chrissie Hynde and the casual grace of Sheryl Crow. As a vocalist, Muller commands the mic with the succulent alto of Hynde or Stevie Nicks and the edgy flair of Meredith Brooks. One thing is abundantly clear from the outset..., Van Muller is never happier than when she is on stage. Music isn’t just a career for Muller; it’s a way of life. It couldn’t be any other way for a girl who started singing in bars at the tender age of seven. Muller takes her music seriously but is the furthest thing from a diva you could find. While the business of making music is a serious one for Muller, it’s also serious fun.
Van Muller is currently having a blast developing her debut album, Find Yourself Here under the guiding hand of producer/bassist Ken Rich (Joseph Arthur, Ani DiFranco, David Byrne, Shabba Ranks). Muller credits Rich with helping her become more focused as a songwriter. There’s a freshness to the album, as Muller tells stories from her own life, crafting a blend of musical styles ranging from 1960’s to 1990’s rock and pop. It’s as if Muller took all the influences of her childhood heroes, internalized them and has created something new yet with distinctive ties to the past. You’ll be hooked from the opening notes with Muller’s confessorial style, pop sensibility and her amazing voice.
Songwriting hasn’t been Ken Rich’s only influence, however. Rich brought in up-and-coming engineer Tomek Miernowski (The Spring Standards, The Pierces, The Madison Square Gardeners), and helped Muller put together an all-star band. Artists featured on Van Muller’s upcoming album include Ben Butler (Jonatha Brooke, Dar Williams, Mariah Carey, Suzanne Vega) on guitar, Ethan Eubanks (Joseph Arthur, Crash Test Dummies) on drums, Whynot Jansveld (The Weepies, Gavin DeGraw) on bass, Rich Hinman (Roseanne Cash) on pedal steel, Andrew Sherman (Mariah Carey, Brian McKnight) on keys and Time Ries (Rolling Stones) on saxophone. It comes as no surprise, then, that the music behind Muller sounds like it might be played by the house band in Paradise.
In spite all of the allusions to heroes and rock stars, Van Muller is just a girl who fell so deeply in love with music that she gave up her life and changed hemispheres just to make her dreams come true. Even a few minutes of conversation with Muller will convince you that she’s not destined to be a cardboard cutout pop/rock personality. Muller displays the personal grace and pure love of what she does that are marks of the musical elite. Muller has the raw talent to make her dreams come true, and in Ken Rich she has found a mentor with the knowledge and experience to help her turn the straws of talent into gold.
Van Muller is on a wondrous journey. Find Yourself Here is just the starting point; an apt reminder that we all must begin with figuring out who we are. Van Muller has found herself in music; she finds herself again every time she steps upon the stage. Van Muller is ready for the world.