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Album Review

by Doprah

Arch Hill Recordings

Review Date
25 June 2014
Reviewed by
Nick Miller

The newly released EP from Doprah pulls together singles that were released online over the last year-or-so by the Christchurch-based duo. However, the packaging of these slightly disparate songs as one body of work reveals a band in the process of figuring out its own sound.

Recent single ‘Stranger People’ gets the EP off to an uncertain start, dropping the listener into an off-balance mix of scattered percussion and heavily layered glitchy samples. It’s disconcerting, and while it seems that at some point the arrangement will unfold into something special, it never does. Even in the more melodic choruses the track frequently feels as if it’s about to fall apart.

Moving forward, Doprah seem to abandon this approach in favour of one that’s altogether more pared back. Second track and EP highlight ‘San Pedro’ allows vocalist Indira Force to take absolute prominence, with only a restrained rhythm section and a reverb-drenched guitar line to keep her company. The next two songs, ‘Whatever you Want’ and ‘Love that I Need’ follow much the same recipe, occasionally expanding in scope, but never allowing that to intrude on their intimacy.

This ‘less-is-more’ approach is where Doprah’s talents lie, so it’s a little unfortunate that the EP finishes with a remix of ‘Stranger People’ by prodigious Wellington producer Race Banyon. This sandwiches the solid core of the ‘Doprah’ EP in between its weakest track, and a track that re-imagines it as a much stronger one.


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