The Dø: Both Ways Open Jaws

The European indie-pop duo, The Dø’s Both Ways Open Jaws has a relaxed, poppy feel to it. Olivia Merilahti’s vocals have an innocent, childlike feel to them, specifically in some of the band’s more sensitive tracks. The other static member of The Dø, Dan Levy, is more than a percussionist; he also picks up the slack on keys and vocals. Throughout the album, The Dø are backed by other talented musicians to add a more dynamic sound to the tracks. The brass contributions from these artists makes Both Ways Open Jaws stand out.

Merilahti shows off her many different masks during the second half of the disc. The picturesque harps in “Leo Leo” gives off a romantic illusion that Merilahti crushes with her pacing and daunting voice. One cannot help but notice the gritty rhythm and accent in “Slippery Slope,” even with the bellowing kick drum. As far as memorable songs are concerned, this is the one. Despite their European roots, The Dø brings some Southern values into play with keys that sound like they can be from an old parlor, which adds another notch to The Dø’s creative belt. Merilahti’s sorrowful voice is enough to make tears fall from one’s eyes in “The Calendar,” but the gloomy saxophone is what pushes the listener over the edge. Though the two bonus tracks are a nice touch, I’d rather see “No Clue” replace “Moon Mermaids” because the latter lacks in the emotion department.

The Dø’s Both Ways Open Jaws is a jaw-opener if you want an album to get lost in rather than one to bounce off the walls to. Don’t sell this duo short though, be prepared to move and be moved in a more surreal way.

In A Word: Serene