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03Oak Grove
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Songs We Love: Dorthia Cottrell, 'Oak Grove'

Songs We Love: Dorthia Cottrell, 'Oak Grove'

Dorthia Cottrell. i

Dorthia Cottrell. Jordan Vance/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Dorthia Cottrell.

Dorthia Cottrell.

Jordan Vance/Courtesy of the artist

On the outdoor stage at last year's Maryland Deathfest, Dorthia Cottrell was a vocal force you couldn't ignore, as she howled over Windhand's oppressive doom-metal riffs. But as much as Cottrell can match and destroy that volume — just listen to last year's guest vocals with Bastard Sapling — she can shake the ground at a whisper, too. Take a listen to "Oak Grove," from her self-titled solo album.

Like other doom-metal singers before her — Saint Vitus' Wino, Neurosis frontmen Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till — Cottrell channels the lonelier and darker side of Americana, even going so far as to cover classic tunes by Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt. Those are good places to start with Cottrell, but to me, her voice resides somewhere between Mark Lanegan's husky howl and Lucinda Williams' desperate heartache, with a breathier heft that gives me the vapors. Backed by Kevin Wade Inge on pedal steel, Cottrell throws a little occult seduction into "Oak Grove": "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 Cottrell comes out March 3 on Forcefield.

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