Dinah Thorpe: Lullabies And Wake-Up Calls (Self Released)

Toronto based singer draws inspiration from Laurie Anderson on impressive second LP

Released Apr 14th, 2014 / By Erick Mertz
Dinah Thorpe: Lullabies And Wake-Up Calls (Self Released) When the club of experimental female vocalists gathers around the old mantle, a mercurial family portrait results. Although they already seem to cover ample ground, from Bjork’s otherworldly siren calls to Nico’s husky and disconnected still life of broken, bohemian life, there is a seemingly endless space to fill.

Toronto based artist Dinah Thorpe is certainly deserving consideration for that curious family. Her latest album Lullabies And Wake-Up Calls is brimming over with lovely songs, finger pointing anthems and unexpected songwriting. Thorpe is capable of maneuvering between creeping, alley cat tracks, like, “Carsick” to the quasi-rap, pop culture critique, “Can I See What’s In Your Backpack” with an uncommon deftness while still working in a covers of “Mining For Gold” and “This Little Light”. Her voice waxes between sexy and authoritative, often showcasing both in the same delightful track.

Normally I’m suspicious of albums where the production qualities are skewed so far one direction. The entirety of Lullabies And Wake-Up Calls is presented in soft tones but this works for Thorpe though because, in her context, soft does not necessarily mean shy or retiring. She is a rare artist who is capable of punching the listener in the gut via a mere whisper. Her song “Brick Wall” is somber and almost sleepy, but thoroughly affecting, in the way that great songs always are. You’ll find yourself reflecting on it often.

I am willing to put Dinah Thorpe on a seat in that portrait. Where? If I’m seating these ladies, I’m putting the Toronto up-and-comer somewhere on the Laurie Anderson end of the spectrum. They are both bold and poignant, a presence unafraid of making, obvious and necessary statements with a hint of humor.