Dove (@d_o_v__e) expresses with her music a bittersweet sensibility towards her surroundings and her own feelings. Among them, love is probably the most powerful vital, and creative impulse, but it is necessary to know how to expand and channel it.
Dove’s latest EP Atarashi Karada (‘New Body’) has music of love but also of (self-)understanding. It is a turning point through which the artist has learned to feel differently, in a conscious way.
Chorareii: First, please introduce yourself!
Dove: Hi, I’m Dove (@d_o_v__e). I’m from Hyogo, Japan and now I live by the sea in Osaka. My hobbies are music, gardening, and cooking, and I am currently spending my days slowly. It has been about 4 years since I started music.
About your latest EP Atarashi Karada (‘New Body’), you said that it marks the line between the old Dove and the new Dove. What were Dove and her music like before and what will Dove and her music be like in the future?
The past Dove has been very personal. There is a part of me that has been doing music as a way of digesting feelings that I can’t digest in my head. It’s so personal that I often feel really fragile and vulnerable when I listen to the songs.
Between two years before the release of this EP and now, I have changed a lot. I think about how I deal with people and acknowledge and prioritize my emotions. I am now able to look at myself in a way that I used to despise and hold back. The EP Atarashi Karada was born during these two years.
By turning my attention to my own emotions, I was able to create something that did not focus solely on people, because I had more time to do the opposite. I can’t say ‘This is what Dove is going to be,’ but I feel like it is somewhat like a boundary line.
The big theme of this EP is a love story. Love is probably the feeling that has inspired the most songs and stories, but what does love mean to Dove?
For me, love is something that is wide, vast, and unlimited, but it has always been next to me. Some of that love is tenderness, and some of it is bitterness. Love can make emotions visible or invisible. I think it is through love that we can look at ourselves.
I tell myself that if I have to let go of one of these loves because I am not sure how to deal with it, I can acknowledge the truth that I loved it without erasing it, and I can put it away for safekeeping. That’s how precious each and every love I have felt is.
One of the ideas you shared about this album is that love can be directed not only to people but also to things or places. This idea reminded me of the Japanese Shinto religion’s precept that gods can be found in everything around us, so we should respect and cherish them. Do you notice that people in Japan feel this kind of love that you express in your album?
I don’t know, but it may be hard to feel it when you are in the throes of everyday life and its emotions.
It may be similar to the feeling you get when you stop to walk and feel a nice breeze, or when you lie down in your room and feel the sound of the second hand of the clock, or when you look out the window of a friend’s house and see the view.
What good things can it have to venerate or feel love towards things that surround us? Can it also have a negative side?
I think a really big part of it is that we get to know ourselves more. Surprisingly, I sometimes don’t even know how loving, kind, and motivated I am. I think it is very valuable to get in touch with the part of me that even I didn’t know I had.
On the other hand, there are times when I feel like I am being swallowed up by bitterness and greed. No matter what it is, there is always a burn that cannot be removed by prettiness. But by facing and feeling it, I think people become stronger and kinder again.
Le Makeup, who has been a driving force for the Dove project from the beginning, has also collaborated on this album. What is it like to work with him and what does he bring to Dove?
He brushes up on my songs, and I brush up from there, which makes it more idealistic. There are also new things that come from my reworking of songs he has written. For me, his presence is most reassuring, very inspiring, and stable.
He could be called another Dove, so what he brings to Dove is his whole being.
How did the collaboration with Loota, ‘Figues,’ come about? What was it like to work together?
When Loota came to Osaka, I asked Le Makeup to make a rough track while Loota and I discussed the image of the song together. The image was that of a migratory bird flying over the surface of a lake, not a person but a landscape. We were able to create a certain shape in that one day, so we took it home and completed the song in about a week.
Loota has a lot of ideas, and he comes up with lyrics and melodies very quickly, which is very inspiring to me. He is also very humble and kind, and he compliments me on how good it is, so I can do my best.
Many female artists have worked on the visual part of the album: Emilie Palmelund created the cover, the pictures for the album release are by Kinuko Numano and your clothes and styling were taken care of by Comez and Goes. How do these artists influence you?
We are from the same generation, and they each create their works in different ways of expression. One of the best things about being in music is that there are far more opportunities to mix with artists who have other ways of expression like this.
I was influenced by the freedom of expression and the beauty of creating what you want to create. I approached Kinuko and Miyu of Comez and Goes before this EP was created, I knew they were necessary for the expression of what I wanted to create.
Emilie’s work is inorganic, but her pencil lines have a softness and warmth that only Emilie can draw. When the cover artwork was finished, I felt like she had focused on even the finest of details
Up until now, you had been releasing your music on Pure Voyage, the label you created with Le Makeup. However, this last EP has been released on the Berlin-based label by Why Be and Janus Yegorka (@yegorka.de). How did your connection with this label come about? And what projects are you currently working on with Pure Voyage?
Toxe included Dove’s ‘Lies’ on the YEAR0001 playlist. I heard about it from Mechatok and other mutual acquaintances, so Why Be approached me after hearing the music. Releasing on Yegorka was one of my goals, so I am grateful for the opportunity.
I have no plans for Pure Voyage itself, but I’m thinking of releasing the next Dove album on Pure Voyage.
What are you working on now, a new album? A new video?
Right now I am working on my first album. I am working on songs with various artists, or I plan to do it, and I am working on many new things myself. I hope you look forward to it.