Friday, February 23, 2024

Martin Howth - "Dear Dorine"

Photo by Alex Jackson

Most people tend to recoil from a cappella acts (unless it's in a trilogy of Hollywood movies). However, Martin Howth is not your typical a cappella performer. The solo project of New Jersey jazz vocalist Audra Mariel is more like Petra Haden than Rockapella, although she's not really much like Haden, either. Mariel uses looped vocals to create an ethereal soundscape that can be quite catchy at times. Her latest single, "Dear Dorine," is a contemplative and laid back track that nearly instantly grabs the listener. A cappella isn't normally done well enough to be both experimental and mainstream. "Dear Dorine" can be listened to just on the surface level of being a gorgeous song, but you can also listen more intently and dive into all of the loops and layers.

Audra Mariel says of her single:

“This song was intended to be a letter to a young girl named Dorine whom I had never met and turned out to be written to a younger version of myself. It is the first single off Distant Dissonance, which is a collection of live takes of original songs, each recorded in a different historic space. I layer vocals live in performances, and decided this would be the best way to make an authentic sounding record. The music video was shot in and around the space where the song was recorded, at the ‘allegedly haunted’ Historic Strauss Mansion Museum in Atlantic Highlands, and the song itself was recorded on the first landing of the stairwell, which is visible in some of the scenes.”

You can watch the video for "Dear Dorine" below. Distant Dissonance is due out April 19 on Nefarious Industries, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Martin Howth, check out the project's website.

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