Face the Music: Couple places out first EP, ‘A Sense of Hope,’ on the solstice

Face the Music: Couple places out first EP, ‘A Sense of Hope,’ on the solstice

Face the Music: Couple places out first EP, ‘A Sense of Hope,’ on the solstice

Ryan and Jessica Richards of Dove Pax. Photograph by Dean Merrill

My preliminary plan this week was to unpack a number of native music updates, and I promise to share a lot of them quickly sufficient, however within the meantime, I want all of the area I can get to inform you about Portland duo Dove Pax.

With massive, lush vocals, layers of results and an general swoon-worthy sound, Dove Pax positive has my consideration.

Album cowl for “A Sense of Hope” by Dove Pax. Design by Dean Merrill

The band is married couple Jessica and Ryan Richards, and as Dove Pax, they launched their debut EP “A Sense of Hope” on the winter solstice (Dec. 21).

The musicians met once they have been each dwelling in Shanghai. Jessica, initially from Paris, had moved to China in 2002 as a performer/singer at a French cabaret and stayed for 13 years, performing throughout Asia and dealing as a composer, sound designer and music producer. Ryan, a Portland native, received there in 2008 to study Chinese language language and expertise fashionable Chinese language tradition. Initially an English teacher, he moved into educating and performing music, together with working in recording studios as an engineer. It was in one in every of these studios the place they met and began to collaborate with one another’s band and write songs collectively.

They grew to become mates, fell in love, received married and moved to Maine in 2015. Though that they had songs they wished to develop, the precedence on the time was to lift their son and get settled into life within the US. A recording studio was constructed over a number of years of buying gear and getting the area acoustically prepared. Their son, Oscar, is now 11.

The couple’s main musical influences come from the lengthy type epics of traditional rock (Queen, Bowie, Coronary heart), French impressionist harmonies (Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Ravel), West African folks grooves (Bassekou Kouyate, Oumou Sangaré), and what they described because the intricate sonic palette of Radiohead and the memorable hooks of Coldplay.

As for the band title, that’s simply defined. The dove is a messenger of peace and, in Latin, pax means peace, and Pax can be the Roman goddess of peace. It’s additionally the title of the music manufacturing enterprise they run out of a Portland studio, the place they principally do industrial work.

The Richards describe the EP as “a four-song suite about striving for the knowledge to remain constructive and hopeful in these occasions of world disaster.”

The discharge date was intentional as a result of the duo considers the winter solstice to be the “pivotal second when gentle is reborn out of the darkest days of the 12 months.”

The Richards mentioned that their objective with “A Sense of Hope” is to remind listeners that “irrespective of how darkish the storms in our lives can change into, there’s all the time a technique to discover hope by studying tips on how to see issues as alternatives for progress.”

That’s a life lesson I can get behind, particularly because it’s packaged in 4 luxurious tracks.

Jessica sings and performs piano synth and bass. Ryan performs guitar, bass and keys. On the EP, John O’Reilly Jr. performs drums. The Richards produced and combined the EP of their Portland studio.

It opens with “When the Storm Comes,” and Jessica’s vocals are putting and vigorous as she sings, “Climate, winds are altering/Rearranging what’s sacred.” Two days after its launch, life positive did imitate artwork, as that pre-Christmas storm reminded Mainers all too properly how a lot injury the wind can do. The music, nevertheless, isn’t bleak, however speaks of perseverance. “When the storm comes, we’ll sing this music, to convey us alongside.” There’s a mesmerizing really feel to it as keys and synths, together with drums, guitar and the sound of rainfall, swirl round her voice.

The journey continues with “Higher Method.” “Compassion can’t be purchased or bought, can’t put a price ticket on our non secular have to be entire,” sings Jessica earlier than diving into the chorus of “It’s time to discover a higher means, look inside to change into awake.” There’s moments of ’80s different within the monitor but in addition a recent vibrancy to it with electrical guitar urgency.

“The Entire within the Half” begins with an virtually operatic vocal sound from Jessica earlier than she begins to sing the traces, “Our evening is shiny, we’re not afraid of the darkish.” Like those earlier than it, this music is a tapestry of scintillating aural moments.

The title monitor has probably the most tender model of Jessica’s voice as she wonders aloud: “The difficulty of our occasions, make me wanna know, how can I do what’s proper?” However after the preliminary quietness of the music, it blossoms like a flower, every petal a layer of sound from percussion to bass and synths. Her vocals are a dawn. Because the music strikes alongside, it turns into bolder and brighter earlier than retreating again into itself for a mushy touchdown.

The Richards estimate they’ve sufficient materials to fill 4 albums and so they count on to launch a full size one within the late spring or early summer time of this 12 months.

You will discover “A Sense of Hope” digitally at dovepax.com and on streaming platforms.

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