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The Dodos - Visiter

The Dodos, Visiter

Review by Jack Foley

HIGH hopes surround San Francisco duo The Dodos and their debut UK album Visiter. Fortunately, they prove themselves up to the task.

Occasionally written off as alt-folk, lo-fi specialists, the album quickly proves itself to be much more than that. Yes, they’re essentially using acoustic guitars, drums and vocals. But there’s plenty of imagination that lends their music an exciting unpredictability.

Opening song Walking lulls you into a relaxed state of mind, filtering some banjo licks around Meric Long’s distinct vocals and some female backing that really works well. It’s a quietly inspiring listen, too, with lyrics such as “you can light the fire inside your head”.

But then it changes pace with Red And Purple, quickly dropping some tribal drumming into the mix and injecting some pacy percussion over Long’s laidback vocals. It’s another strong offering that cements the positive start to proceedings.

If you like acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, Peter, Bjorn And John or even Jose Gonzalez, and dig soundtracks such as Garden State and Grey’s Anatomy then you’re probably in for a really enjoyable ride.

Songs like Joe’s Waltz (which begins with a lazy acoustic strum before blossoming into a guitar-strewn, seven-minute opus complete with rousing drums) and Park Song, with its insistent guitar licks and frustrated lyrics, display a keen ear for melody and genuine creativity. They’re not at all constricted by numbers or instruments.

Just occasionally, there are moments of self-indulgence and tracks that feel like fillers (the stripped down, demo-style It’s That Time Again being a prime example) but on the whole this is an accomplished UK debut for them that should help their live shows to become pretty hot tickets.

We’re certainly among their growing fanbase.

Download picks: Walking, Red And Purple, Eyelids, Joe’s Waltz, Park Song, Jody, God?

Track listing:

  1. Walking
  2. Red and Purple
  3. Eyelids
  4. Fools
  5. Joe’s Waltz
  6. Winter
  7. It’s That Time Again
  8. Paint the Rust
  9. Park Song
  10. Jodi
  11. Ashley
  12. The Season
  13. Undeclared
  14. God?