Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Dø - Both Ways Open Jaws (2011)

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My introduction to Finnish/French duo The Dø came from social networking radio MuMu Player when Frank from Listen Before You Buy uploaded "Dust It Off". I was immediately struck by Olivia Merilahti's airy vocals billowing sweetly over a minimalistic piano line. It's the sort of beautiful simplicity I wish more artists embraced.

That simplicity is the common strand between many of Both Ways Open Jaws' rather diverse set of tracks. Even when songs take on a more involved quality like poppy beat-heavy "Slippery Slope" or vaguely rockish "Gonna Be Sick!". Considering that the duo both come from film-scoring backgrounds, it's not surprising how effectively they use their sparse instrumentation (sweeping string arrangements on "Too Insistent" for example) but they blend their classical sensibilities with understated, though always engaging pop to create this unique listening experience. The barely there pop elements are just enough to give the album an ever forward momentum while the minimalistic elements make sure you don't breeze right through.

Their sophomore album, released earlier this month, is only available in Europe right now but you can listen to the whole thing on Soundcloud.
Both Ways Open Jaws by The Dø

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