Artwork for “Stellular”, the new album from Rose Elinor Dougall.
Rose Elinor Dougall, “Stellular” (Vermilion)
We’ve made no secret here at thegrindinghalt of our admiration for Rose Elinor Dougall (it’s been mentioned here, and there). It’s embarrassing, really. Except it isn’t, damn it, because she’s just that good.
Dougall’s voice has an effortlessness that’s enthralling. It reminds of singers like Tracey Thorn – ostensibly pop singers, the restraint in the vocals provides an extra dimension/gravitas/oomph (call it what you will) that elevates from the typical boring and overworked pap on the radio (insert music critic diatribe re: “popular” music in 3, 2, yawn…).
Which brings us, then, to her new solo track. “Stellular” – which serves as the title track/lead single to a new album – is a heady, uptempo blend of new wave, Motown and psych that matches the extraterrestrial vibe of the lyrics (and official video, which you can watch below). It’s deserving of a close up – and radio play. Make it so.
“Stellular”, the album, is due in January from Vermilion Records, and is available for preorder from Rough Trade here (in the UK) or on iTunes. In the meantime, Ms. Dougall can be followed on many of the usual points in our collective social ether. She also has a show upcoming at The Victoria in London, if you are fortunate enough to live in the area.
It’s hot; really, effing hot. Sweat runs in rivulets down your back, sides, forehead; the back of your thighs. The dank, still air of late summer envelopes you; a shroud, creating the sweat-stained outline of your human form in the soft pleather chair.
Outside, the urban thrum of car horns, jack hammers, sirens. Closer in, a soft whisper comes from a box fan sat in the window on the opposite side of the room, it’s scant breeze causing barely a ripple in the heavy air. Yet, this sound holds promise: the promise of moving air, however stale, however ripe with heat and the tang of perspiration and garbage, however leaden with asphalt and exhaust.
You inch closer. Visions of trade winds; relief. The fan’s soft purr becomes a drone, then a whirr; a building crescendo. The once faint breeze now feels like a wind tunnel, buffeting your face as you lean in, closer…the sound now sending vibrations through your skull. You smile, eyes closed, at the first patter of sweat beads on spinning blades. The cacophonous wind – you let it wash over you, let it draw you ever closer, like a cartoon character floating on waves of aroma from a freshly cooked chicken.
The song is “Paul”. The band is thegrindinghalt.com fave and pride of Ireland (ok, we think they should be proud), Girl Band. Taken from forthcoming, debut full length “Holding Hands With Jamie”, out September 25 on Rough Trade (available for pre-order here in the US and on Rough Trade’s UK webshop). The video is above, and is fantastic. If you haven’t (and why not?), check out Girl Band on Facebook or their website.