Tag Archives: Widowed Earth

Dos Floris, Corner House, Cambridge, 17 July 2016

On a steamy summer evening the place to be was the Cambridge Corner House pub and venue, for a rare UK appearance of singer and multi-instrumentalist Dos Floris.

Opening the show was a special set from Bouquet Of Dead Crows, pared down to Toni Cooper’s voice and acoustic guitar from Neil Bruce. At present they are working on a follow-up to their accomplished song collection ‘Of The Night’, and tonight there were re-imagined versions of many of the tracks from that album. Musically Neil added extra guitar nuance and colour to underpin Toni’s confident vocals which combined to great effect, especially on the new single ‘Epicentre’.

I have been an admirer of the majestic Dos Floris album ‘The Widowed Earth’ since its release, and at the time of writing I still can’t quite believe that I was watching a performance of that hypnotic music and meeting its creator.

The sound is complex and multi-layered, necessitating some backing percussion and electronics being co-ordinated by laptop, but there was plenty of interesting keyboard lines and experimental effects played live as the tracks developed beyond the album versions. Add in some flute, a pure captivating voice and looped backing vocals for the complete picture.

The ‘natural world’ theme that threads through these songs is most evident in ‘Rivers’ but so cleverly are the music and words intertwined that the simple protest of ‘All The Kings Horses’ seems to be a statement that war is somehow a violation of nature (and possibly is as effective a statement against the Iraq War as the 2.6 million words of the Chilcott Report?!).

One of the highlights was ‘Before You Loved Me’, a torch song that could be from 1920s Berlin if they had had waves of electronica in the jazz clubs. Then a version of ‘To The Wolves Part II’ was dedicated to this humble reviewer which made the evening even better…



Dos Floris : The Widowed Earth, released November 2017

Based in Italy, Dos Floris is the performing and recording name of Florence Donovan. Her debut album ‘The Widowed Earth’ is a dense, multi-layered collection of atmospheric vocal and electronic pieces. Each track is crafted and complex, substantial yet brittle enough to slip through your fingers.

Every one of these cinematic soundscapes is given plenty of time to construct the right instrumental mood and reveals more on subsequent listens.A brief intro of a cassette loading gives way to ‘Rivers’, a pastoral theme built from a simple flute figure with the addition of ever-changing keyboards. The vocal simmers and yearns before final resignation. The electronic waves of ‘Before You Loved Me’ pulsing through the track, the gentle and unpredictable piano chords like droplets of rain in ‘Water’, the loose drum patterns in ‘The Other Side’ supporting simple vocal phrases; it is all elegant and addictive.
I really like the title track ‘The Widowed Earth’, huge swathes of synthesised strings in the introduction then the sustained vocal interweaves like another instrument.

In nearly an hour of music there is plenty more to get lost in, including the two part epic ‘To The Wolves’. As a change to guitar music, give this album a late-night listen.