NPR logo Viking's Choice: Kayo Dot, 'The Mortality Of Doves'

Songs We Love

Viking's Choice: Kayo Dot, 'The Mortality Of Doves'

Kayo Dot. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Kayo Dot.

Courtesy of the artist

Let's go out on a very distant limb here: If Mr. Mister's atmospheric 1985 ballad "Broken Wings" had been written for a proggy space opera, it might sound something like Kayo Dot's "The Mortality Of Doves." It's not just because of birds, either. Toby Driver has always been an extremely fluid composer in the realms of avant-metal and prog-rock, but this 12-minute lead track from Coffins On Io is a surprise.

With sparse percussion, a Sisters Of Mercy-style guitar melody, and Driver's falsetto (!) coo, this is the stuff of cyberpunk slow jams. Synths ooze from Blade Runner's pores and jazz-noir sax sneaks beneath, plodding along with a bleak sensuality matched by Driver's morbidly romantic words: "And no one noticed this coffin heaving / These earthen boards thick with deceiving." Are these the vapors, or just carbon monoxide?

Coffins On Io comes out Oct. 14 on Flenser Records.

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