Almost three years ago Corné Opperman – aka Kinders Vannie Suburbs – dropped the first half of what is now his debut album. Onperfek Nes Ek (Die Begin) served as the opening act to what has become a deep dive into the intricacies of Opperman’s mind. Penned from a place of raw human experience.
Onperfek Nes Ek, which dropped in its full form late last year, is hinged on acoustic simplicity and Afrikaans honesty. Writing from what both he and the people around him have lived through, this is an album weighted in emotion and harsh realities. But it’s also here to serve as a salve for those going through similar things.
What is it to live a life in the suburbs? Well, Opperman has some insights. Against a steadfast and simple backbone of acoustic guitar and vocalism, the album is bare-boned and brazen. Explicit and honest lyrics, delivered in Opperman’s uniquely clarified timbre, navigate everything from imperfection (“Onperfek Nes Ek”), drug and alcohol abuse (“Dis Scary Shit”), heartbreak (“Hierdie Gevoel”), crippling mental health (“Stille Herinneringe”), and a harrowing drink-spiking incident (“Die Lig”).
The album leans on sonic simplicity, the sort which can tend to come across as a little clumsy or minimalist, but any lurches are mostly overridden by Opperman’s searing authenticity and thematic scope.
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It’s a deft and tempered solo album – and although there are plans in the works to flesh out Kinders Vannie Suburbs into a fully-fledged band in 2023, Opperman has delivered something so poignant here, that his solo approach this time around was, in my opinion, the best choice to make.
Feature pic supplied by artist