‘In embracing musical diversity, DLORE deliver a message-driven, showcase sound that promotes the same for society.‘
Re-intro to DLORE
When I introduced you to DLORE last July via their release ‘Jackal’, I spoke about theatrics, musical drama and the level of conviction that trio have for what they do. Now, as they return with their latest single ‘Iron‘ (Out 17th April), I am even more convinced about those areas. Bringing a difference in sound to that previous feature, this track pushes the musical boundaries while seeking to obliterate social ones. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a big ask to attempt the two together. However, in showcasing this contrasting sound – one that in the words of lead vocalist Dan ‘felt like a natural progression that fitted the soul/hip-hop half of DLORE’s sound’ – they have achieved that very purpose. Likewise, with this track setting up the raw soul sound that can be expected on their debut EP, you are left wanting it to arrive tomorrow.
Setting off with a soulful mix of picked electric guitar, distant bass and reverb-warmed rim shots, the opening to this newest offering from DLORE instantly feels like a step up from their much loved 2019 release, Jackal. Unlike that very track, there are no atmospherics, gradual growths of sound or sparseness. Instead, there is an abundance of true musicality which weaves among itself. The groove is gentle, as are the lilting sensations generated, and with the addition of sexy, harmonised horns it sets up the musical imagery of sin-filled backstreets that is to run through the track.
With the aforementioned sensations fully established, after what may be deemed as a lengthy introduction the initial lyricism joins the sound helping to portray this further. Entering unpredictably – that is to mean not within the usual metre pattern that you may expect – the opening lines of ‘Iron fist are weak, We the people under siege’ bring smoky-edged imagery to the evolving sound. Feeling dark in all areas, yet refined, the sound is one that works perfectly. This said, in balancing it with a great use of space and ensuring all elements are heard it’s as though we are being introduced to the characters within.
Shifting subtly in texture, on reaching the line of ‘Iron made me prosper’ the former sparseness develops into something just as dark but even more beautiful. Yes it is indeed possible for the two to work as one. Growing wonderfully, a mass of brass set countermelodies meander. Adding warmth, greater harmonies emerge. And evolving at every turn, drums deliver rhythmical changes which hint at forthcoming musicality. But the interest is not just confined to the instrumental elements as it is here that you also notice just how vastly extended this verse really is.
With many phrases to fit in – although not as many are to come later – the emphasis on musical space transfers to the showcase vocals. Bringing as much interest as you would believe those backstreets to have, the deep, dusky edged tones ensure sentences such as ‘I won’t greet my children, In a world that has forgotten them’ feel incredibly poignant. However, unlike those backstreets – where let’s face it you may see or experience things you don’t want to – here you want to, and are very much encouraged to enjoy every single millisecond of musicality that you are being offered.
Keeping in line with the earlier unpredictability, having progressed through the extended verse we arrive at what is deemed as the chorus. I say deemed because while there is a highly noticeable change in tone, with it much, much shorter lyrically than what has just been, you only truly realise it is one once it returns at the end. With that opening feeling very much like two verses in one, the sound here doesn’t scream chorus. But in truth this doesn’t matter one bit. Why? Well because it demonstrates how successfully DLORE set themselves apart from the crowd and with it combining their influences beautifully, you can easily imagine how well it fits within their live set. As does what follows.
With the track to this point being focused on gentle musicality, the emergence of darker, accented horn phrases towards the end give off a sense that dominance is on the horizon. And you would not be wrong because that is exactly what happens. Gone indeed are flowing phrases and calming accompaniments and replaced by much more driven, aggression-edged musicality it feels like a different track. But this is the point as to do this, is to deliver a different message. One that launches a no-nonsense attack on current society.
Delivering double, if not triple meanings, hip-hop influences within the accompaniment combine with hurried, megaphone affected vocals musically reflecting cultural differences. The lyricism changes from considered thoughts to profanity infused frustration. In short it is as far from the rest of the track as could be. However, while you may read this and think ‘Why interrupt the former atmosphere in such an abrupt way?’ the abruptness is the answer itself. Transition smoothly, and the message may be lost. Push the message home throughout and the same could be true. But in placing it between the former soulfulness and the return of it after achieves the real purpose: A track that embraces musical diversity while promoting the same for society.