Dinah Thorpe: A Journey Through Desire
Upon listening to Dinah Thorpe’s 2019 album The Body Wants (from Hard Music’s artist label Graffiti Alley), one is immediately struck by a sonic palette that is both warmly familiar yet totally new.
Thorpe is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Toronto with two Juno Award nominations under her belt for Recording Package of the Year. Her clever lyrics, signature striking visage, and imposing height all contribute to making her an artist not to be forgotten.
Her voice has a melodic timbre reminiscent of Annie Lennox blended with the mysterious seduction of Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. Her expansive modern soundscapes embody Claude Debussy’s famous statement “music is the space between the notes” - each sonic element has true meaning and purpose, without being gratuitous.
The album’s opening track “Three Nights Running” is laced with longing, itself underscored with urgent electronic beats and a driving bassline. The lyric “discord births a baby called creative” is a sweet surrender to the discomfort of desire.
Dinah’s penchant for teasing the listener with innuendo is clear in “NSFW.” The song title suggests something explicit, but reveals a curious vulnerability rooted in attraction for someone just out of reach. Spiritual themes are present in “Let Your Light” and “Sailor’s Delight” which end the album on a positive note.
The Body Wants is a declaration of acceptance that our desires are interwoven with vulnerability and discomfort. It is through this discomfort that the true beauty of love and intimacy reveals itself. Each song tells this story in order of emotions beginning with attraction from afar, infatuation, fear, intimacy, love, and light.
Each track here is a statement, without trying too hard: a telltale sign of masterful songwriting.
By Sarah Scarlata