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Dorcha – Honey Badger (2020 Box Records)

If there is anything to learn from Birmingham’s Dorcha it’s that it is ok to be weird. Own your weirdness, embrace it, use it, live it. Just about everything about Dorcha’s album Honeybadger is weird; from the stylistic paintmixer-sound to the artwork, but somehow it works out brilliantly.

Am I really allowed to call them weird? Yes, to have four tracks on your album called “meets” (but rearranged M Eets, Me Ets, Mee Ts, and Meet S) is quite deliberately acting weird of course, but that’s not even the most outrageous part of Honey Badger’s cabinet of curiosities. Dorcha just won’t be caught in any formulas. The songs vary from one minute to six and everything in between, and stylistically they break as many rules as they can. Six minute whirlwind-ride title track Honey Badger for instance goes from angelic harmonized choruslines to freakjazz in the blink of an eye, settles a while on a cinematic jam, and ends in violin feedback. Singer Anna Palmer then leads the way through the dreamy Lizard (is it a good dream? We are never quite sure…) after which more instrumental weirdness follows and then Bruiser: a jazzy disco track??? It looks quite exhausting when I read it back like that, but miraculously Dorcha make their fantastic hodgepodge sound absolutely listenable and smooth.

Dorcha deliberately acting weird, but getting away with it…

Shall I compare Dorcha to anything? I am hesitant, as pinning them down to any style would be doing them a huge disservice. I could say if you like Wolf Alice (some of the vocals), Bosnian Rainbows (the electronic wizardry), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (the energy!), and being surprised you’d be in for a treat. Although especially that last trait would be obligatory. Most of anything Dorcha are completely their own weirdo selves and that is probably what makes this album work so extremely well.

For a blog called Weirdo Shrine, with which I hoped to explore the outer reaches of music that would still tickle my brain Dorcha are a real treasure. More than anything I would love for you as a reader to open up that treasure, and maybe pass it on to other like-minded weirdos so that we can be weird together and through this shared experience maybe also feel slightly more normal. Don’t thank me though, thank the band. And buy their stuff from the links below!

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