Label: Wagram / Cinq7 / Get Døwn! Release date: Out Now! Website: http://www.myspace.com/thedoband Buy: Amazon Have you heard The Dø? The duo, the two. Actually this intro is already more than a little bit redundant as ‘Dø’ is pronounced as ‘doe’. Anyway, composers Dan Levy and Finnish exile Olivia Merilahti previously worked together sound tracking films before forming The Dø, deciding to take their music into the live setting, the perennial bear pit where the naïve are picked apart and savaged by critics and naysayers. As you would expect coming from a production background, each track is richly composed and gracefully textured. A Mouthful is a real Bombay mix; both childlike and love struck, drifting awkwardly and self consciously between innocence and adulthood. Some may already be familiar with a couple of The Dø’s early singles that are included early on this album. ‘On My Shoulders’ is a weight of the world soft rock ditty. ‘At Last!’ walks a similar line. Isolated these songs are somewhat conventional, bringing to mind extinguished moments from PJ Harvey or The Cardigans. You become immediately taken with Merilahti’s naïve bluntness, on ‘Stay (Just A Little Bit More)’ she talks about a lousy lover in the same matter of fact way that Lily Allen sings about spunky bed sheets. “I knew for sure / That he would never be the satisfying shag I needed”. Contrast this to the longing stripped down acoustic ballad ‘Song For Lovers’ where a more vulnerable side of Merilahti is revealed “Clear sighted eyes and uncried tears have dried out in the sun”. Playfully The Dø dip into quirkier uncharted, unpredictable waters in the Lady Sovereign dancing with M.I.A. to the horrific raps of Uffie and Debbie Harry’s ‘Rapture’ of ‘Queen Dot Com’. Actually this track is embarrassing, to be cruel you could even call it mindless drivel, but at the same time it’s unashamedly fun and beautifully out of place on what is otherwise a pretty serious, and in places a knowingly pretentious album. Curtain raiser ‘Playground Hustle’ reminds me a lot of Lykke Li, particularly something like ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’, only laced with acid whilst sitting through 24 hours of The Famous Five audiotapes. These two tracks are glaring beacons of mischief, studio outtakes that have crept into the final mix. This is an album full of opposing feelings, capturing the trials and tribulations of growing up without turning into a grotesque interpretation of a John Hughes movie. Merilahti sings in her native tongue on ‘Unisassi Laulelet’, a song elegantly wrapped in blasé harmonies. Broods wistfully on ‘Searching Gold’ and displays candid vulnerability on the timid piano driven ‘When Was I Last Home’. Never once does she lose her stride, despite slapdash lashings of eclectic sounds - dollops of brass, shades of afrobeat and unorthodox percussion. You certainly cannot discount Dan Levy, the equal partner in putting together a nuanced, if slightly rough around the edges debut release. Rating: 8/10