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Dorsal - f'days (EP Review)

Doctor Dorsal D. Dave (P.H.D.)
Doctor Dorsal D. Dave (P.H.D.)

Dorsal, Dave Lancaster. Doctor Dorsal D. Dave (P.H.D.). Call him by his full name, fucking hell. He’s just released an EP, for goodness sake. Some background: He’s about 18 feet tall and 7 years old. He’s been making music for decades, and has laid the groundwork for most genres you currently are aware of. 100 years from now, he’ll supernova and eat up what's left of our starry skies.

You’d be forgiven for wondering what his music will sound like then. Opening track ‘F’days’ opens with luscious strings and a dance beat. As soon as he begins to croon you’re taken to places you’ve heard before with artists like Mount Kimbie and Deakin, but then the horns come in and jazzier pastures are revealed. This is very much springtime music. As the track builds you can hear the flowers blooming. Still, you wouldn’t be thrown in jail, nor would the key be tossed away, if you allowed yourself to have a little dance.

The second track is called ‘Tusk’, but it doesn’t sound very much like Fleetwood Mac, and has little to do with ivory hunting, so I’ve deduced that the title isn’t a reference to anything. The tropical beats in the background remind me of the Jamie XX tune ‘Obvs’ and the track offers a similar level of groovy sweetness. This tropical sound runs through a lot of Dorsal tracks and can make you feel like you’re swimming through a reef whilst the songs are playing. A sample of some female vocals near the beginning makes it all feel very alien too. Beautiful strings briefly close the song before moving on.

‘Larkspur’ begins heavier on the vocals than the other tracks, and really lets you appreciate Doctor Dorsal D. Dave (P.H.D.)’s voice. He’s been called the voice of his generation before in his weekly trips to Woody’s karaoke bar, where he generally (and generously) does a dozen or so of his favourite Taylor Swift tracks (the Doctor is a known Swiftie), and this track is possibly the best representation of the origins of this delightful nickname on the EP.

The final track, ‘Galanthus’, is a soaring and kaleidoscopic journey through gospel hums and shimmering clanks. I haven’t got a bloody clue what he’s singing, but his cadences move me anyway. I think I hear him sing ‘What will become of us now’ at one point and it does beg the question, what will become of the Doctor? Don’t ask me, I don’t fucking know. I just listen to the songs and write what I hear, buddy. He’ll probably be a famous rockstar though.

Dorsal’s album ‘Rewilding’ is out on 24th November on Analog Horizons.

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