The Dove & the Wolf

I Don't Know What to Feel

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An expanded version of a previously self-released EP, I Don't Know What to Feel is the label debut of the Dove & the Wolf after the duo signed with Fat Possum. With the exception of an instrumental closer, the set is marked by crisp, harmonized vocals laid over delay-drenched soundscapes that land in a remote territory between dream pop and '70s soft rock. The seven-song EP's original five tracks were recorded and produced by two champions of elegant texture: Dave Hartley, the War on Drugs' bassist who releases experimental dream pop as Nightlands, and Nick Krill, leader of the Spinto Band and kaleidoscopic electropop outfit Teen Men. They prove an inspired fit for Paloma Gil and Louise Hayat-Camard's reflective, carefully crafted musical demeanor. The first song, "Are You Thinking of Me," opens with velvety a cappella vocals, establishing the singers' technique of always singing in tandem. A warm, echoing, electric guitar line joins them, followed by the rhythm section. Like the rest of the record, simple but textured arrangements spread extended and altered chords under melancholy melodies and lyrics like the opening line "Getting tired of drafting messages I'll never send to you." There are lighter moments, such as the more uptempo "The Smell of Us," with rhythmic and melodic guitar counterpoint, but the record is so consistent in sound and tone, despite a range of tempos and harmonic flair, that it still settles in like a daydream, enveloping rather than seeming to seek attention. That alone is quite an achievement for a debut, and the songs are nice, too.

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