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The Cheek of Her - Black Heart Mantra (Self-Released)

11 April 2016

The Cheek of Her is the stage name of London solo artist Helen Dooley. After a handful of EPs, a full-length record, and featured airplay on BBC Radio 2, The Cheek of Her is back with another short collection of songs entitled Black Heart Mantra. The five tracks here are deeply personal, and heart-wrenchingly emotive; yet they nevertheless retain wonderfully melodic and even relatively poppy sensibility in its brighter moments. There’s a similarity to the gothic theatrics of Siouxsie & The Banshess, but the production is more sparse and the focus is more on the piano-led instrumentals.

The rousing lead single “9 Lives” is produced by Pete Maher who has worked with artists as diverse as U2 and *Patti Smith*—a common thread of theatricality shared between them all. Each track is like a melancholy, subtly gothic version of the classic torch song, splendidly twisted by Dooley’s clever wordplay and wit. “Give Up The Ghost” even dares to gasp teasingly verge into indie pop territory, replete girl-group backing vocals and a chant-able chorus. The EP closes on a high note with the title track, “Black Heart Mantra,” a powerful ballad that never manages to veer into the cliche. A wonderful one of a kind record, Black Heart Mantra is out April 11th.

 

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