"Long considered to be the secret ingredient of Thee Oh Sees and OCS, Brigid Dawson’s harmonic coos and yelps with John Dwyer have provided an airy dynamicism to the wall of fury the rotatingly-renamed band typically churns. While no longer regularly playing live shows with the band (currently under the name Oh Sees), she pops up in one way or another on nearly every record since 2006’s The Cool Death of Island Raiders. Fourteen years later, the musician and visual artist is finally stepping out on her own.
Titled Ballet of Apes and released under the name Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network, Dawson’s debut solo album is a far cry from the adrenaline-filled turbulence of Thee Oh Sees. Slowed down to a near-glacial pace, Ballet of Apes unfolds at a smolderingly measured clip. Like watching honey leisurely drip out of the bottle and onto a piece of toast, a syrupy heaviness envelopes the record.
This is felt immediately on album opener “Is the Season for New Incarnations.” The haunting synth-led track is nearly six minutes of cloud-covered slow-burn. The sun peeks out just a smidge in second track “The Fool,” an eclectically retro, almost doo-wop, ballad about heartbreak and confusion in love. Had I stumbled upon the song without any context, I’d have a tough time placing what time period it came from." - Jasmine Albertson, KEXP
photo by Sara Lou Bowrey