Dazed Digital


Inside/Out: The Dø

April 6, 2012

City inspirations with the king and queen of psychedelic Paris pop who'll be ruling Europe this spring

  • Text by Terence Teh

The Dø are different. Abstract, dance, theatre and art-inspired records with cosmic storytelling and experiemental approaches, the Parisian duo somehow interweave these expressions into epic, somewhat soaring, somewhat introspective psychedelic pop classics. They're probably one of the most exciting and accomplished acts coming out of Paris that you've not heard about yet. French / Finnish multi-instrumentalist songwriters Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy's new single "The Wicked & The Blind’" is out now, taken from last year's brilliant album "Both Ways Open Jaws" and play across Europe during April and May. Check out the video for their last single "Gonna Be Sick!" and full tour dates below.

Satellite Voices: Do you approach your film or dance work differently to your records?
The Dø: When we work on a film or a choreography, we are making music on a frame which has already been set, on a story we didnt invent. We are following someone's creative visions. It can be fun and challenging but also quite hindering. Especially in film music, when directors have certain references in mind that they get attached to. Choreographers are usually more open-minded, probably because they are ready to adapt their dancing with the music.

When we work on our records, we are directing the whole project, it's much more personal, and we like to keep it pretty intimate. But in general the recording process is similar, we work on separate parts, beats or melodies, and then we share and see what we got.
SV: "Both Ways Open Jaws" - what are your favourite memories from a) writing the record b) touring the record
The Dø: a) the first proper recording sessions for this album were in a house in the South of France. We would take a break to pick figs and almonds from the trees, cook a lot. We recorded inside and outside, any time of day, it was really peaceful. It felt good to live a simple and light existence after two years of touring!

b) Playing at Les Eurockéennes on the main stage, meeting Arcade Fire in Zagreb, playing in Istanbul with a hundred people waiting outside the club to get in.

SV: Where do you live in Paris and what inspires you about that area of town?
The Dø: We both live in the east side of Paris, but not too far from the center. We're both from the suburbs. I love the woods nearby where i live, it's essential to me. I often solve a lot of riddles when I go out for a walk, I come back with musical ideas. I wouldn't feel comfortable living in the very heart of Paris, there are not enough green parks, I need to be able to escape easily.

SV: What are some of your favourite hidden city spots?
The Dø: Some bars in Pigalle like Le Mansart, which is not confidential at all but a cool place to meet musicians and have drinks, a tiny Finnish restaurant on rue des Dames called Le Café Lapon and La Cartoucherie de Vincennes for theatre and contemporary dance.

SV: What does your city mean to you?
The Dø: It is where I spent most of my childhood and where my family lives now. Paris is the city that embraced my music first, so I'll be forever grateful! Helsinki is my second home city.

SV: And your favourite food spots?
The Dø: Rice and Fish on rue Greneta near Chatelet, Pizzeria Da Carmine on 61 rue des Martyrs and Le Cambodge in the 10th, avenue Richerand.

SV: What does Paris have that you can't find anywhere else?
The Dø: Home, for better or worse.

SV: What artists in Paris are doing it big for you right now?
The Dø: A French artist / photographer called Marianne Maric, who shot the cover of our latest album. Some of her work can be seen this month in London at Nick Knight's SHOWstudio. Also another photographer Julien Goniche, whose work is both poetic and visually brutal. Singer-songwriter Jeanne Added, and a band called Concrete Knives are working on their respective albums. I'm looking forward to them.  Some of these artists are based in Paris now, others still live in their hometown somewhere in France. There's a lot going on outside of Paris too.

11 Apr – The Garage in London, UK
13 Apr – Caprice Festival in Cran Montana, Switzerland
14 Apr – Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg, Germany
16 Apr – Zakk in Dusseldorf, Germany
17 Apr – Palac Akropolis in Prague, Czech Republic
18 Apr – Festaal Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany
22 Apr – Palladium in Riga, Latvia
23 Apr – Tavastia in Helsinki, Finland
25 Apr – Strand in Stockholm, Sweden
27 Apr – Babel in Malmo, Sweden
28 Apr – Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg, Sweden
30 Apr – Biaa in Oslo, Norway
02 May – Beta in Copenhagen, Denmark
03 May – Train in Aarhus, Denmark

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