DOT ALLISON NEW SINGLE – ONE LOVE
ALBUM – HEART-SHAPED SCARS – released July 30th on SA Recordings
“Dot Allison reconnects with her pastoral folk-pop muse on this elegantly understated comeback….stand out numbers include the spine-tingling waltz ‘Can You Hear Nature Sing?’ with its exquisitely entwined vocal harmonies.” - UNCUT
Having set the template for forthcoming album Heart-Shaped Stars with the intoxicating singles ‘Long Exposure’ and ‘Can You Hear Nature Sing?’, Dot Allison unveils another new song ‘One Love’ out today on SA Recordings.
Dot’s interests in music, literature, science and nature are integral to Heart-Shaped Scars overall aesthetic and ‘One Love’ uses flower metaphors “to signify a rare kind of fragile love perishing in the shade.” says Dot. “It’s a song about someone feeling unsure in a relationship, needing reassurance. The flower metaphors are rare flowers used to signify a rare, precious, all encompassing love. Blood Camellia suggests flesh, veins and a pulse, Fire Lilies imbue a sense of passion and Juliette Rose seems to hint at Shakespeare.”
Heart-Shaped Scars is Allison’s first album in 12 years, her most personal to date with it’s backdrop of exquisitely sparse dream-folk evoking Dot’s vision for “a pure kind of album that musically imbues a return to nature. I wanted it to be comforting like a familiar in-utero heartbeat.”
The album is produced by Allison alongside Fiona Cruickshank, with Hannah Peel adding string arrangements to four songs, courtesy of a quintet of Scottish folk musicians. Recorded at Castlesound Studios in Edinburgh – Dot’s home town – the sessions include new collaborations with singer songwriters Amy Bowman “The Haunted” and Zoe Bestel on new single “Can You Hear Nature Sing?”.
Field recordings of birdsong, rivers and the ambience of The Hebrides – where Dot has a cottage – also played their part. A location for gatherings amongst folk musician pals (Sarah Campbell and Amy Bowman included), “sharing ideas and passing instruments between us all, amongst friends and the island community,” says Allison. “It’s where I first sang ‘Long Exposure’ in public at a folk house-concert. So, I can definitely hear some of the Hebrides in ‘Heart-Shaped Scars’.
The influence of folk-minded artists in her record collection, such as Karen Dalton, Gene Clark, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Nick Drake and Brian Wilson are evident but most poignantly is the late Andy Weatherall. Weatherall produced ‘Morning Dove White’, the album that launched Dot’s career with the band One Dove and who “championed, signed and mentored me… I hear his influence throughout all of my albums.”
Since 1999’s Afterglow, Allison has striven to “keep the listener on a journey – and myself too.” That journey has taken her from Afterglow’s broad church (trip-hop, Tim Buckley-esque ballads, chilled psychedelia) to the sultry synth-pop of We Are Science (2002), the baroque Exaltation of Larks (2007) and the roots drama of Room 7½ (2009). She’s worked with an extraordinary roll call of talent – Kevin Shields, Hal David, Paul Weller, Pete Doherty and Darren Emerson, Massive Attack, Scott Walker, Slam, Philip Shepard, The Babyshambles & Pete Doherty, underlining the huge respect her peers hold her in.
On Heart-Shaped Scars Allison mines a deeply emotive seam. “Love, loss and a universal longing for union that seems to go with the human condition. To me, music is a sort of tonic or an antidote to a kind of longing, for a while at least.”
2. The Haunted
4. Can You Hear Nature Sing?
5. Ghost Orchid
7. Forever’s Not Much Time
8. Cue The Tears
9. One Love
10. Love Died In Our Arms