Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The Dø – Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy

Alternate title: “2013, 2014 and (Please, FFS) 2015”


Thomas Inskeep: Oh look, it’s not-Robyn fronting the not-Cardigans.

Alfred Soto: This French-Finnish act handles the hangover and despair well, but its idea of ecstasy is an octave leap and amping up the synth noise. 

Danilo Bortoli: Which might or might not be some of the side effects caused by constantly listening to this song.

Iain Mew: When I consider that I’ve done something wrong it sticks with me, echoing in my head, words on my lips and sometimes coming out in nonsense fragments. I see something of that in “Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy”, guilt one of the constants through its own fragments. Olivia Merilahti’s vocals strain at the edges of the song as it maintains a sense of unease and motion. It gets somewhere near the boundary of enjoyable and uncomfortable, but the way that the synth pummelling gives it an unusual and cathartic out pushes it well over into joy.

W.B. Swygart: Sometimes, all I need is something like the way she jerks out the opening “air” on “air-cstacy!”. Sometimes I really am that bloody simple. The tangly-fingered Split Enz-esque keyboard chaos also helps.

Katherine St Asaph: Dragon’s-lair synths, a blog-pop piano line, chorus squiggles, lyrics that punch just above their musical weight and a gorgeous Pre-Raphaelite faint of a vocal line — this is what I wanted Nina Persson’s solo album to be.

Brad Shoup: The baroque meter must be adhered to, at the cost of emphasis and melody. Which means that when the chorus comes by a third time, the new melodic tugs — the effort out of the rut — are stunning. This is nightmare ABBA, the fear of repercussion that almost no artist dares entertain, let alone ones working in pop. Is there room on the floor for self-flagellation? 

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