For fans of: The Cardigans, Yo Gabba Gabba, Bjork, Marina and the Diamonds, MIA, and dancin’.
The natural inclination for a lot of female vocalists is to sound pretty, delicate, non-invasive. It’s often so limiting to not only their vocal range but their ability to get weird. And when I say weird, I’m referring to the beautiful kind of strangeness in artists like tUnE-YarDs, Bjork or Little Scream. They all use their voices like machinery, swelling African hymns with squeaking high pitched shrieks. Whatever brings their performance to life. That’s why when I discovered The Dø - a Finnish/French duo led by powerhouse vocalist Olivia B Merilahti with multi instrumentalist Dan Levy, I was immediately infatuated. The way Merilahti’s girlishness rivals her comical narratives singing, “I’m gonna throw up!” that it almost makes the imagery seem fatally cute. She occupies all forms, through rasp, shrill, whisper and techy vocal loops.
The bands’ sophomore record Both Ways Open Jaws was released last week in the US via Six Degrees after kicking around France since earlier this year. It’s been described as folktronica, ska-pop, freak pop. It makes sense, considering their name refers to the alpha and omega of the music scale, where they experiment with,” the latitude & longitude to re-invigorate any musical genre”. The Dø manage to tap into the collective primitive motor systems of our brains through the rhythmic trance of “Slippery Slope” seriously- are you not involuntarily moving to this song? “Bohemian Dancing” is another similar utopian raindance. The Calendar sounds almost Appalachian while “Too Insistent” kids’ choir sounds a reincarnation of Karen O’s “Wild Things” soundtrack. The Dø’s Both Ways Jaws Open suddenly became a contender for one of my favorite finds of the year.
Watch the hypnotic video for Slippery Slope below.