Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Dø - the Beginning and the End

A few months ago I received an email from a music-loving friend who told me that I ABSOLUTELY had to check out this group. I unfortunately received the email the day AFTER the concert, which is always helpful.

Firstly, the name of the group comes from dø at the beginning of the octaval scale and also at the end. It's kind of a nice image as both the beginning and the end, creating the circle and everything that comes in between (what's new and what's old, according to the group's MySpace).

The Dø is Olivia B. Merilhati and David Levy of Finland and France, respectively. Their first album A Mouthful was released on the 14th of January. I have heard 5 tracks off of the album, but have heard one or two of their songs over and over as they were featured on France Info for an entire week and my dance teacher choreographs routines to their music. I have almost the same feeling as I did when I heard the Arcade Fire at a Top Shop in Manchester after Funeral came out - that I was somehow being followed because their songs were literally everywhere.

Olivia's voice very is particular. It is resonant, but with an edge to it that almost makes it sound scratchy. The best comparison I can think of is Bjork, but she tends towards quasi-yelling where as this remains harmonious and tonal. There is also a soulful, bluesy element along the lines of Cat Power, but less raspy.

What becomes evident after a few listens is how musically interesting the compositions are. There is a plethora of sounds and rhythm changes that are subtle, effective, and very inventive. The band's list of the influences is long and comprehensive (follow the above link to see the list in full), which may have something to do with it. A congruity between the unique voice and the unique composition is actually somewhat reassuring (otherwise the world would be completely topsy-turvy).

My favourite song is 'At Last'. It incorporates everything that I have already mentioned, while remaining catchy, light, simple but almost achy. I picture someone walking down a deserted road somewhere in the Midwest, the sun shining, trying to look cool and happy but using all of their energy to keep it together and not completely fall apart. Maybe just me.

The Dø - At Last (live 01/25/08)

(this is fairly good quality, but visit their MySpace for a fuller sounding version and of course more songs)

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