My favorite new discovery of the year is actually an album that came out last fall by a band called The Dø (pronounced "dough"). After months of living beneath a massive pile of other CDs, it finally surfaced a couple of weeks ago and blew me away. It's called Both Ways Open Jaws and it's an epic listen: beautiful but gritty, unpredictable, unsettling and full of mystery. We featured one of the standout cuts, "The Wicked And The Blind," on a recent episode of All Songs Considered. It's also the song The Dø chose for its latest video.
Singer Olivia Merilahti and multi-instrumentalist Dan Levy are the French-Finnish duo behind The Dø. In a joint email, Merilahti and Levy write, "['The Wicked And The Blind'] is a schizophrenic song, with two different narrators — the evil spirit and its victim — but they have the same voice. I guess this was inspired by some people's blind and absolute devotion to an evil or useless cause, without expecting anything in return."
That seems like an appropriately heavy explanation for a song that packs such a massive punch. For the video, Merilahti and Levy wanted something rough, unsophisticated and blinding:
"We did it similarly to the pictures for the album artwork, with a team of four people, including us and a few flashlights. The person who directed it, Julien Goniche, is a photographer. His work is very specific, with a unique way of using flash."
Both Ways Open Jaws is The Dø's second full-length release. The duo's debut was the 2008 album A Mouthful. Merilahti and Levy are currently on tour in the U.S. and Canada.