Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham, Eclectica, 2017

doris brendel - eclecticaRegular followers of the blog will surely be familiar with the name of Doris Brendel. This unique rock singer with the husky voice is going from strength to strength it seems. And as usual, again with the help of Lee Dunham, the songs on offer reflect her multi faceted personality and styles to the tee.

So far I have loved every album she has released (I even made sure to get a copy of her 1990 debut with The Violet Hour) and after a couple of spins of Ecleptica, I am starting to wonder if this is maybe her strongest effort yet. Yes, with every spin I am loving this album more and more. And while there are many moods and influences throughout this 10 track album, one thing is for sure, this might also well be her rockiest effort ever. And the rocker in me just cannot resist that.
Whether it is the tribal drums in opener The One, the rocky Love App, or the progressive 8+ minute epic (1 of 2, the other one clocking in at almost 10 minutes) I Rather Wear Black, I am really addicted. For me, all 10 songs hit home, and hit home hard. The choruses pick you up, the inventive arrangements keep you interested and the melodies make you want to hear it again.

So if this is your first encounter, or if you already own all her output, this comes heavily and heartily recommended. Outstanding album!


Doris Brendel, Upsidedownworld, 2015

doris brendel - upside down worldIt is always a pleasure to receive word of a new Doris Brendel album. Find her previous work on the blog as well. But what is even better is getting it in your hands to listen to. The new album is out since April 20 and is again made in cooperation with Lee Dunham. I am actually tempted to think that Lee has increased his influence on the songs, as to me it seems the guitar work is even more prominent. And being a guitar player myself, that is not something I mind very much. And looking at all participants, I see a lot more of the Dunham family present, on various instruments as well.

The first song The Devil Closed The Door On Me (great title) strangely reminds me of Sass Jordan. Probably because of the vocals by Doris, that have that similar sexy hoarse edge here. And that over some tasty rock riffs! Adored, the next track, shows another side of the duo. Lovely bass not unlike Pino Palladino and a great, and far more clean vocal delivery of this beautiful song, with it’s aching melody and extended arrangements. Quite proggy at times! Next up is Slap Me And You Die and that is another rocker with a damn catchy chorus. The middle section here is also quite proggy with Lee excelling. Accessorise has a more modern approach, with lots of keyboards and sounds. It is also one of the shortest songs on offer.

By now I guess you will have an idea of this album that for me is another highlight from these artists and maybe even the best one yet. Which is quite a promise for the future…


Doris Brendel, Not Utopia, 2012

doris brendel - not utopiaFrom where I stand I hope many regular visitors of the site recognize the name Doris Brendel. Not so long ago I featured the new pretty funny video for one of the tracks from this album (Going Out), but also her previous album The Last Adventure as well as the classic The Violet Hour got some space. So yes, you can bet your a** I love her gruff and grainy vocals!

This time partnering with Lee Dunham (vocals, guitars, bass, producer, etc.) Doris came up with another 12 tracks who, as she describes it, are “her”. And without knowing her personally, me thinks that her is wonderful. An eclectic mix of rock, pop and more progressive tinged music, this album is another journey to musical depths. Full of soul, witty lyrics (I put my soul on Ebay, won´t you bid a little higher), dynamic arrangements and for sure one of the most beautiful tracks in a long time, the astounding Without Words (should you need a reason to buy this CD, this track is worth the price alone).

Yes variety is key and yes, probably some people will say it lacks identity. But to me, that is bull, every song on here deserves your undivided attention and is testament of a talent that, would there be any justice in the world, deserves to be bigger than Lady Gaga or who ever. So come on, head on over to your favourite retailer and get this baby. Shockingly awesome.


Doris Brendel releases new album: Not Utopia

Doris was so kind to inform me about the release of her new album Not Utopia. The first video for it is ready as well. Check it out here:

For more info, or to buy it visit her website.

Doris Brendel, The Last Adventure, 2010

Doris Brendel - the last adventureThis singer first came to my attention in the radio show Progressive X Grooves from Pieter van Veen, who also featured my band Chinawhite at the time. It sounded promising, so I was very glad Sandra from Sky Rocket Records popped a disc in the post for me.

And even better, I was immediately hooked to this album. Doris has a wonderful warm voice with just that little edge I like so much. And while the music is labelled as classic prog, I think that is selling it short. The prog tag is probably caused by the way the songs are approached and arranged, but I think that any serious rock or adventurous pop fan will find this a worthwhile addition to the collection.

The songs are fairly short, with all but one ranging between 3 to 4 minutes. Yet every song counts. Melodies are instant, playing is impeccable. And just listen to Doris stretch her vocal cords on opening song What Are You Saying. Absolutely great!
The regular use of Hammond and the inventive guitar playing is not hurting either. And despite the songs being short, the arrangements are impressive and very inventive. I like that a lot! So I will just say this: pick it up, you won´t be disappointed. By the way, I also see it advertised with a different front cover, but don´t know about that.

Personal play tips: best enjoyed as a whole.