Dorthia Cottrell
Dorthia Cottrell


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
April 27th, 2015 | 23 replies


Release Date: 03/03/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Folk in the moonlight, in front of a camp fire, sang by a witch.

We may argue all day about what makes an album special; songwriting, performance, originality and production are some of the criteria that most of us apply when we use logic. But art is far from logic; maybe in a subconscious level, certain albums have the ability to appeal to us instantly without even understanding initially why we connect to them so strongly. The obvious and easy – but honest – answer is that they hit us right in the feels.

Such an album is Dorthia Cottrell’s debut; full of emotions and landscapes. A mix between folk and country, Dorthia Cottrell is in a sense a highly atmospheric release. Some of you may already be aware with Cottrell’s special voice from her work with doom outfit Windhand. For those who are not familiar, Cottrell’s vocals are not your typical folk or similar to artists such as Carole King, Sandy Denny or Joan Baez. Her voice is deep, warm and powerful. That and the soundscapes she creates with her songwriting give to the album a very interesting, almost metal vibe. The instrumentation of the album is very simple yet effective; there’s just Dorthia’s guitar and a few sound effects. What’s so brilliant about this album is that it’s dark, gloomy and by listening, one can literally imagine landscapes from the American western regions. I personally get images of Wyoming and large patches of land while others can even envision scenes from True Detective. Yes, there are times where the atmosphere of this album is that haunting with lyrics such as,

”god is not my problem
and my flesh is weak
I’m the kinda girl who needs a devil in a man
to satisfy me”

Dorthia Cottrel is mostly a melancholic journey with only one uplifting moment; “Maybe it’s True” sounds like a lullaby and a fresh hope floating in the air. Some of you might get a Townes Van Zandt vibe - who’s a clear influence judging by the cover of “Rake” - and while that might be accurate, the amount of desperation is not as high on here.

The only part where the album falters is probably the track order. While there are no weak tracks, it seems that the stronger material is placed in the beginning leading to a slightly uneven effort. As a result, some may perceive the album as tiresome or longer than it actually is, especially in the first couple of listens.

To sum up, for folk enthusiasts Dorthia Cottrel has the potential to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of the year. The fact that the songs were written during a 10-year period, gives the album a sense of variety while being cohesive at the same time. Contrary to her work with Windhand, this LP gives us the opportunity to admire Cottrel’s voice stripped down, to the front and without any effects and this is alone a strong selling point.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
Seeing how Windhand had already flirted with acoustic material before prior to this album's release,...


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is strong contender for my AOTY and a must listen for you folkers.



Full stream: https://forcefieldrecords.bandcamp.com/album/s-t



Your comments are appreciated.

Digging: Savage Machine - Abandon Earth

Judio!
April 27th 2015


8413 Comments


Y'know, I think I need something like this in my life. Plus I don't think I've ever listened to anything like this before. Sweet review dude, ghost pos.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. You're into neofolk and this is like the other side of the coin so you might dig it.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2015


11680 Comments


I would pos'd but it seems I can't anymore ;) Cool review, would I dig it?

rockandmetaljunkie
April 27th 2015


7058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need to find this. Nice job Manos, I will read your review later but that summary sold me.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@danielcardoso

Thanks Daniel. Based on your Nick Drake rating, I think you'll like it. It's not as melancholic but a lot darker than ND.



@rockandmetaljunkie

You can check it at bandcamp. You've already told me that you're a fan of "Evergreen" so you'll dig.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2015


7740 Comments


Great review as per always Manos.

The singer's name felt familiar, but I couldn't remember where it came from...

She is the singer of Windhand and she was excellent in Soma. Band did well in the two concerts in Greece while promoting that album.

I will surely check this album out.



Edit:

She sounds way better in this album than in Soma.



Edit2:

As I was listening to the album, my mind went to the Mike Scheidt album and then I saw that you have it in the recommended album section. Great album as well.

deslad
April 27th 2015


607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very enjoyable review man, with a somewhat different, "artistic" feel.



I enjoy folk in general so I think I'll dig this.

Digging: Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking

rockandmetaljunkie
April 28th 2015


7058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Read the review, it's great and it hooked me up as well.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Voivod

She does sound way way better on this album than on Soma. Not that she's bad or anything on Windhand but her voice is buried under monstrous riffs.



@deslad

Thanks des. I actually tried to describe the feelings or the images one might get while listening to the album rather than comparisons with well known artists that I usually draw. Hope it worked.



@rockandmetaljunkie

Thanks dude.

DrJohn
April 28th 2015


1041 Comments


Great write-up manos, I'll proly check in due time.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks doc, hope you enjoy.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2015


22988 Comments


review is sweet as expected. gonna add this to my list of albums to check out

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I appreciate it dude. I'm sure you'll love it.

deslad
April 30th 2015


607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I actually tried to describe the feelings or the images one might get while listening to the album rather than comparisons with well known artists that I usually draw. Hope it worked."



It definitely worked man.

deslad
May 5th 2015


607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The album in general was good, I didn't quite enjoy the vocals though.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 6th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you enjoyed it. I love her vocals on here, especially compared to Windhand.

rockandmetaljunkie
May 13th 2015


7058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Been digging this the whole day. Great album indeed.

rockandmetaljunkie
May 13th 2015


7058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Perennial" is magnificent.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2015


10839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you checked and enjoyed.



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