Reviews:: The Heartbroken Tonight Tonight

Before receiving the new record from The Heartbroken record in the mail, these were the three things I knew about front woman Dahmnait Doyle:

 

1) She was a member of the band Shaye, a band that one of my ex-girlfriends loved.
2) Long-time herohill associate Jason Reynolds once took her to a dance (platonic style)
3) Even though she was a big name on the East Coast in the late 90′s, I couldn’t really remember any of her songs. Obviously I must have heard them as she was all over the East Coast music awards and recognized as one of Newfoundland’s most successful pop musical exports at the time, but for the life of me, I couldn’t place a melody or remember a song title.

 

None of that really matters I guess, but it probably explains why the people that were playing behind her were more recognizable when I was sent an intro video to this new rootsy supergroup. Seeing Peter Fusco, Stuart Cameron, and Blake Manning backing the strong voiced singer in the friendly confines of The Dakota Tavern quickly pushed their debut LP, Tonight, Tonight, to the top of the pile. Even in a casual, live session you could hear the talent the quartet possessed. The synergy is obvious. This isn’t simply a collection of session musicians for hire; the four friends understand each other and play off and to each others strengths and that smoothness grabs you instantly.

 

I can’t really speak to Dahmnait’s past and certainly don’t want to focus on it, but playing with three long time friends, Doyle’s voice is tailored to fit these polished roots melodies. Gliding over top of guitar, bass, mandolin, and drums or harmonizing with her friends in an East Coast kitchen party style (“Seventeen” is the type of song that gets played every time the guitars come out, and the mandolin laced “All My Friends” just seems like it was sung in a room full of smiles) she seems completely comfortable and authentic handling the down and out, love kicked your ass subject matter. Her experience helps too, as Doyle still knows when to grab the spotlight. Her voice take over on the soulful “Good For Thorns” and she shows her skill as a story teller on the heartbreaking tale of abuse “Save Yourself” and “Company Man.”

 

At the end of the day, Tonight, Tonight might seem a bit understated; it’s not a record that is full of highlights and hits, rather one free of lows that encourages start-to-finish listens. The Heartbroken pour out their hearts (probably after they pour bottles of wine), try to connect with the listener about the relationships we’ve all had and managed to f@ck up and the end result is a solid collection of singalongs. Misery loves company… and sounds better with great harmonies.

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MP3:: The Heartbroken - Seventeen
WEB:: http://theheartbroken.com

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One Response to “Reviews:: The Heartbroken Tonight Tonight”

Herohill » Blog Archive » Reviews:: The Heartbroken Tonight Tonight » Blogomatic February 24th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

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