Under her artist name Red Leaf Hill, Carmijn Bakker creates a language of warmth and affection, with songs that address human relationships, nature, motherhood, overcoming and wanderlust.
Her music applies a range of influences: the intimacy of alternative country/folk laced with widescreen splendor of contemporary pop. For her new EP Sunrise, Red Leaf Hill has collaborated with producer and sound designer Ivo de Jong.
As musician, songwriter, and filmmaker, Carmijn has held a long-cherished dream of living in the heart of nature. “For me nature is magical. It’s healing, and creates a feeling of total freedom. A feeling of peace. When I’m surrounded by big mountains and long rivers, I feel free. The sunlight on my skin, swimming in the cold water. When I close my eyes, words and melodies arise. “
In the spring of 2022, she moved with her partner and son from her native The Netherlands to the North of Norway. Between tall mountains, long rivers and endless forests, she quickly learned living in nature is both hard work and awe-inspiring.
Red Leaf Hill’s songs don’t deny the gravity of life’s darker chapters which led to this bliss and peace of mind. “Feels Like Home”, for instance, is a meditation of a past relationship, whereas “Sunrise” talks about fear of failure, and how that very fear cripples the flow of creativity itself, and how to mend from that.
“The harder you try to stop it and hide it, the bigger it gets. It describes how it is almost impossible to fight because you will never win it. The harder you try, the deeper you sink. “Sunrise” stands for a moment in which fear isn’t felt for a moment. Where you enjoy, relax and catch your breath. Feeling the sun on your skin is a moment of release within the tension.”
For Carmijn, Red Leaf Hill is as much about sharing as it is expressing, through her own means and by seeking out collaborators who travel a similar wavelength. On her YouTube-channel, she’s garnered a steady following in her journeys across the Norwegian wilderness. To be an open book, where struggle, joy, fear and courage are laid bare for all to see. As clear even as the brightest skies themselves.