The Do

Dec 6, 2012 Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, CA

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  1. Welcome to Daytrotter 00:06
  2. Too Insistent 03:35
  3. Gonna Be Sick 04:33
  4. The Calendar 04:15
  5. Dust It Off 04:23
The Do

Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California

The side of The Dø's Olivia Merilahti that we hear most often in this duo's songs is one of gorgeous latency, moments that feel just on the cusp of blossoming into something that's going to truly awe all those around. This is the side that wants to make a better impression. It's the side that cries and wants love - the one that is both emotionally available and guarded, when needed. She enjoys playing a character who's not so sure what the big fuss is about her. She's just trying to go about her day and here are these people who want to be with her, who will not give up or take a hint. Everyone wants a little piece of her, or a whole lot of her. On the song, "Too Insistent," she sings:

"What's wrong with you
What is it you want ?
What's so special
to love 'bout me
I'm ordinary
And you're too insistent
You are too insistent
Don't you start and instant
I know not
Why won't you let me go
Why won't you let me go now
Just let me go
I'm such a tiny toe."

It's not every day that someone compares themselves to a tiny toe, the toe of the least consequence, when it comes to the bunch. Most would consider themselves the big toe, the king or queen, but not here, as Merilahti slinks off into the shadows and keeps herself bundled up in protective layers, staying as far out of the fray of the particulars of romantic involvement as possible. You can't blame her for feeling that way. It's safer and there's much less strain. It's easier to just brush it away a troublesome nonsense, rather than something to be consumed with. She and bandmate Dan Levy make songs that are hardly battered, even when they could be. They could be stammering and breathless, in the perpetual exasperation of relationships. When the time gets ticking and the wicks get burning from both ends, funny things happen and people take themselves into some interesting dead ends. The places that Merilahti takes us are wonderfully isolated from those dead ends. They are passionately against the feeling quicksand pulling people down, dragging them into the ground. These are songs meant for the newness of a blazing spring and for the mindless current that knows not whereto.

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