Doralice - "Vespertina" (audio) (premiere)

by Jonathan Frahm

14 September 2017

Charming gypsy jazz with influences from Spain and the Balkans.
 

From behind the fanfare of electropop and indie rock, another scene is bubbling up to the surface. Fronted by composers like Chris Thile, Bela Fleck, and Edgar Meyer, acoustic instrumental compositions are seeing a return to the forefront.
  
Yates Brown and Rima Ash’s music is decidedly Americana. The San Francisco duo, though, doesn’t seek their roots inspiration entirely from the folk, country, rock, and blues that most acts in their lane utilize. Instead, they’ve turned to acoustic Latin influences, gypsy jazz, and music from the Balkans.

Doralice‘s new single, “Vespertina”, is indicative of those primary influences. An acoustic composition centered on violin and guitar, the track plays out like a romantic adventure. Your mind can make of it what it wants—is this a lover’s playful dance under evening stars or the tale of a congenial folk hero skulking in the night?

Either way, it’s a prime blend of Balkan and Spanish influences. If you like what you hear, you can pick up the band’s new album, Doralice ii. It releases via Broke Leg on 3 November.

Brown says, “This song is an amalgamation of what the group does best, managing to be a bit dark & moody, melodically serpentine, rhythmically intriguing, and dynamic, with a big refrain giving way to an intimate duet conversation between guitar & violin in the bridge… Rima’s violin melody weaves in & around the pulse, feeling like a figure moving about in the night that you can’t quite get your hands on, leading to the title Vespertina (from vespertine: ‘relating to or occurring in the evening’).”

Meanwhile, Ash says, “It’s also a good example of the influence of our surroundings:  Yates had a slightly Spanish melody in his head that didn’t quite click, until one night while seeing local Balkan brass band Brass Menagerie we heard this Bulgarian 11/8 rhythm they were playing called ‘kopanitsa’… the next day we tried this somewhat Spanishy melody over this somewhat Balkan beat, and it took off.”

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