Alt-Pop alternative chamber music review singer songwriter strings

Douglas Dare – Heavenly Bodies Review

A slow march to sadness

Sounds like…

The quiet bits of Vulnicura if it was a Victorian funeral.

The review

Initially created as a three track audiovisual experience, ‘Heavenly Bodies’ sees Douglas Dare perform with a quartet of string players from London Contemporary Orchestra. It is a very delicate and introspective EP that is the perfect accompaniment to his LP released earlier this year ‘Milkteeth’.

Douglas Dare

Each track is a meditative and slow-burning duet of voice and string. Aside from a single piece at the end of ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’, Douglas keeps his voice restrained to a soft almost speak-singing poise. It is in an effort to draw you into the delicate balance of this recording. In some ways, it absolutely works but if you aren’t in the mood to really pay attention to the hopelessness that the record conveys, it also comes off as a bit of a dirge too. As each song breathes and takes its time to unfold, you need to be patient with it. This works beautifully when seeing the visuals but may test a few people who want a rise, a bit of drama or a pulse.

I’ve listened to the EP several times and I just don’t have a consistent read on it. That is highly strange for me. Even when I don’t like something initially, I can often see why it didn’t click and often know that it’ll click at a later time. I’m not sure I will click with ‘Heavenly Bodies’ personally but there is a very sad and downbeat space where I know I’ll find comfort in it. A beautiful breakdown is here for many – just not for me.

Recommended track: Heartstrings (feat. Peter Broderick)

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Douglas Dare - Heavenly Bodies

6.5

6.5/10

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