Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat have a knack for world-building. You hear it in the lucid dream-pop they make as The Dove & The Wolf, where intertwining guitar arpeggios and vocal harmonies transport you effortlessly to the duo's atmospheric plane. You see it in the band's visual identity: Portraits where Gil, Hayat, and their backdrops are color-coordinated to harbor blue or crushed velvet with a touch of Coke bottle red; stage attire set to matching white denim.
The creation of such immersive spaces is no surprise given the duo's geographically nomadic identity. The Dove & The Wolf formed as teenagers in France; they lived in New York in their early 20s, then spent some time in Philadelphia. Both halves of the duo are now 28, and split between Nashville (Hayat) and Paris (Gil). Every traveling artist needs somewhere familiar to return, and The Dove & The Wolf simply make their home a portable one.
After a well-received string of EPs, including last year's excellent I Don't Know What To Feel, The Dove & The Wolf will self-release its full-length debut Conversations on May 3, 2019. The album was produced in Philadelphia with Dave Hartley of The War on Drugs, and includes contributions from fellow WOD member Charlie Hall on percussion and Japanese Breakfast's Craig Hendrix on drums.
The effervescent slow-burner "Queens" is the album's first single, and has been kicking around in the band's live set since 2016. Between warm-tone amplifiers and a pattering pulse, the song documents The Dove & The Wolf's East Coast sojourn, while anticipating an ever-changing future: "Once again he's leaving Queens, but this time he's going east / closer to where the sun rises, moving on to new phases."
The vibrant Pantone universe of the band's visual side comes to life in the vivid, new music video for "Queens," premiered on XPN and co-directed by the duo with Rocco Avallone and Colin Kerrigan of Philly's Out of Town Films. We see Gil sitting in a Granny Smith-colored kitchen with two mysterious drama mask-clad companions, munching on a mossy-tinted bagel and mashing a lime Jell-O mold with her hands. Hayat wears a gold dress in a canary room, breaking lemon plates on the floor. Other sequences are rose-colored and confetti-dappled, or chilled in a steely azure.
At first glance, the video comes across as absurd, even disconnected from the gravity of the song. But noting the very real emotions that surface throughout – sneers of frustration, tears of despondency – we are indeed seeing reality in its playful mayhem. With their sense of place in constant flux, The Dove & The Wolf rely on colorful, comforting worlds like this to stay grounded.
Conversations is out May 3.