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The Dø announce new album Shake Shook Shaken, share “Sparks” — listen

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    With their first two albums, 2008’s A Mouthful and 2011’s Both Ways Open Jaws, French-Finnish outfit The Dø forged a tantalizing blend of earnest folk and crunchy freak-pop. Now, the duo of Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy is embark on a “radical change,” according to a press release, with the release of its latest LP, Shake Shook Shaken, due out January 27th, 2015 via the band’s own Siamese Squids imprint.

    Recording in its personal studio — a “pastoral 18th century water tower” — the duo “deliberately set down their acoustic instruments to focus on a more minimal set-up of a keyboard and laptop.” Explains Merilahti, “We quickly became obsessed with this set-up; this form of minimalism, banning ‘real’ instruments to the point of creating a new work ethic. Our aim with Shake Shook Shaken was to take ownership of the sounds that had previously been undervalued, while going with a more pop aesthetic. We wanted to make a luminous record to reach as many people as possible, without having it fall in on itself.”

    Luminous certainly describes the 12-track effort’s latest single, “Sparks”. The duo’s minimalist approach is hardly noticeable on this grand, sweeping ballad, a bold mixture of glitchy electronics and a romantic-to-the-Nth degree string section. The heart and soul, though, is Merilahti’s vocals, a croon of equal parts angel and introvert that really sets off the overall sonic dichotomy.

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    Merilahti says the song is about “people in exile searching for new cities, new landmarks, traveling through no man’s land.” She added, “It’s the poetic side of a post-apocalyptic situation. When Dan sent me the instrumental track, I had in mind the kids choir from the New York school PS22 that I love. I imagined them singing the chorus with their hands on their hearts. On the verses we wanted something very bare. It’s a healing song for us, and it’s one of our favorites on stage.”

    For more from the album, check out previous singles “Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy” and “Lick My Wounds”.

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    Shake Shook Shaken Tracklist:
    01. Keep Your Lips Sealed
    02. Trustful Hands
    03. Miracles (Back In Time)
    04. Sparks
    05. Going Through Walls
    06. Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy
    07. Anita No!
    08. A Mess Like This
    09. Lick My Wounds
    10. Opposite Ways
    11. Nature Will Remain
    12. Omen

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