Dorian Wood | BOLKA

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Folk: Alternative Folk Blues: Folk-Blues Moods: Solo Male Artist
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BOLKA

by Dorian Wood

These 11 tales of heartbreak and working-class fury, led by Dorian Wood's soulful wails and battle cries, possess an epic, almost orchestral quality, with help from a jazz ensemble, as well as a Bulgarian women's choir.
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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1. Appleheart
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6:32 $0.99
2. The Real
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4:41 $0.99
3. The Mutual
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2:55 $0.99
4. Well Well Well
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3:47 $0.99
5. No Home For a Funeral
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1:58 $0.99
6. Watsonvilled
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5:20 $0.99
7. Bolka
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0:43 $0.99
8. The Stronghold Passage
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4:00 $0.99
9. All Hail The Infant Elephant!
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2:13 $0.99
10. Kletka ot Sniag
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5:47 $0.99
11. Pianos and Bricks
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16:30 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Dorian Wood's rich, haunting melodies and deeply personal tales of heartbreak and working-class fury are elevated by his spiralling warble/wail/battle cry, echoing the raw, early days of Odetta, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Bryan Ferry.

Born in Echo Park, California, Dorian learned to play the piano at an early age, under the tutelage of his grandfather, the pianist/composer Calasanz Alvarez. Dorian performed his first piano recital at age 5. In his teens, he attended the Conservatorio de Castella, a high school of the arts in Costa Rica. Upon returning to the States, Dorian attended film school at Los Angeles City College for 4 semesters, before dropping out and focusing solely on his musical abilities. Through the creation of hours of lo-fi experimental folk ditties, both on tape and CD-R, Dorian developed a unique style that would lead to the formation of two critically-praised bands: the art-rock quartet/quintet The Dorian Wood Guilt Trip, and the semi-improvisational gospel choir The Northern Embers.

In January 2006, Dorian began work on his debut album, BOLKA. Recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles, this aural voyage into the tremulous core of love lost is produced by Rebecca Stout (of Hendersonville Song Company), and boasts a lush, epic mountain of sound thanks to contributions from the Bulgarian women's choir Nevenka, bassist June Kato, harpist Elizabeth de Neeve, percussionist Derek Greene and members of the jazz/tango group Cat Hair Ensemble.


Reviews


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Signal Tribune

So Cal Musician Mends Heartbreak on Debut
Any initial comparisons that singer/songwriter Dorian Wood might inspire, such as to Jeff Buckley’s haunting hums or Antony and the Johnsons’ sometimes unsettling vibrato, are promptly supplanted. Dorian’s music exists in a time-space continuum of its own, and, in the current musical climate of corporate test-audiences and premature song sharing on the net, Dorians’s is perhaps the most appealing kind to jaded ears, the kind that’s hard to categorize.
Dorian’s voice is evocative of those persons, places and things in your mind that ring like cultural archetypes (the carnival ring leader who knows everyone’s secrets, the fool lamenting at the moon, the gregarious saloon piano player), but these apparently familiar characters he seems to be depicting yank at the proverbial rug under you and demonstrate his dynamic cultural literacy. Though they draw from different sources, his songs’ emotional roots are firmly planted in his own experience.
These lyrics might seem the sort that are strictly personal, to the point that they’re unrelatable, but they express sentiments to which we can all connect on a base level emotionally. “No one breaks my heart and lives” and “Hell hath no prison like your arms and all that they evoke” certainly ring a bell in our collective broken heart. But torch songs these are not. Rather they are the results of a person blessed enough to be in touch with his artistic talent so that he can put his broken heart aside and use his craft to again find the beauty in himself. He takes that beauty and imprints it on his first official album, Bolka, for all of us to behold.
With its genesis as a collection of hate hymns, including a break-up song in his ex’s native Bulgarian, Bolka ultimately progressed into a labor of healing and redemption. The song “Apple Heart” was written the day after the break-up, and he says it was surprisingly easy to write.
But the album ended up being the most personal and draining work he’d done. “It’s not so fun to have to revisit moments of heartbreak over and over, both in the post-production process as well as in the performance aspect,” he says. “So I close my eyes and focus solely on the voice. Of course, moments here and there pinch at the soul, which makes it impossible to deliver a phony performance.”
A native of Echo Park, California, he learned very young how to play piano, under the guidance of his grandfather, pianist/composer Calasanz Alvarez, performing his first recital at five years old. He later attended the Conservatorio de Castella, a high school of the arts in Costa Rica. After returning to California, he studied film at Los Angeles City College for two years then dropped out to concentrate on music.
On the CD cover for Bolka which is designed by Palm Springs artist Anthony Hurd, you’ll see Dorian’s face. It’s a tiny white mask-like countenance amidst a collage-like tapestry of colorless abstraction. But it’s also in other places, concealed in the psychedelic swirls and surrealist forms. Dorian’s there if you look a little, just a little broken and bent. Just the way we love our artists.

Peter Lawn

heartfelt mvoing orignal blues
A stunning album, deep and rich and true; if you've ever loved being in a smoky bar, playing an old vinyl jazz record or wondering down the street in the rain then this is for you. One to treasure and share with an appreciative few.

Christian Fernández Mirón

Great future
After listening to bits of Dorian Wood through Youtube and Myspace for a long time, I finally purchased this CD. It's not perfect, but the seed of greatness is here. If he continues, I am sure Wood will have an amazing career as a recording artist. I can only hope to witness whatever path he chooses to tread and flourish.

Cheers from Madrid, Spain.

www.thecloudsociety.org