Dominique Dillon de Byington is back! Despite its title, her third album is anything but “Kind”.
One year after “Live at Haus der Berliner Festspiele”, Dillon has released her third studio album. It goes by the name “Kind” and, unsurprisingly, it is anything but. The music is as heavy as the “Undying Need to Scream” from her debut: “Steam & Leaf” and “Shades Fade” feature gorgeous string arrangements and the aptly named “Lullaby” is characterised by bells so low they feel sacred.
Dominique Dillon de Byington’s compressed voice hasn’t changed either, it still sounds raw and laden with grief. Her vocal chords are the Brazilian-born, Berlin-based singer’s most impressive instrument. On “The Present”, you hear it filtered through the microphone of a smartphone, and yet it functions as a window into her soul better than the eyes could. It is nevertheless refreshing to hear her sing in German and Portuguese on “Kind”.
Sometimes, the vocal lines echo older songs. “Contact Us” recalls “Thirteen Thirty-Five”, albeit with a more aggressive musical background. The song is one of the more adventurous on the album, switching from horn-based intimacy to intense near-dance, segueing seamlessly into the percussive (and outright dance-y) single “Killing Time”.
“Kind” also feels more like a whole, with some songs flowing into another and others (the brief but beautiful “Te Procuro”) serving as punctuations. It’s small changes within the framework of her unique style that give this third album a sense of newness.
The cover art of the four albums Dillon has released show her head and shoulders in half-profile. These pictures illustrate the artist’s general approach to her art: variations on a style, always familiar but never old.
Stream “Kind” LP on Spotify.