Dil Brito
Mote

by Jim Di Gioia

July 18, 2018

Dil Brito’s sophomore record is a spontaneous and unpredictable experiment in sound.

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There’s a spontaneity and unpredictability to Mote, the sophomore record from Vancouver’s Dil Brito, that underlies the band’s loose attempt at capturing random specks of ideas and thoughts, fleshing them out as fully as possible, and releasing them into the ether (of the internet in this case) to find their way to other ears. Using acoustic instruments and the power of human voice, Dil Brito’s sonic experimentations bend conventions like a first-time pretzel braider twisting dough. All the necessary ingredients for song are there, but the structure and style coming out of the oven are knit together in unexpected ways, rendering each a unique creation.

It’s hard to tell if opener “Footfalls” is moving forwards, backwards, or from side to side as each guitar strum curls and folds back on itself, picking up speed as it spirals towards a false ending before turning inside out and revealing soft vocal harmonies at its core. “Sto(stood up)od Up” is literally a song within a song as an echoey delay repeats, finding moments of melodic harmony when the song aligns with itself. It is the literal definition of the band’s self-declared ‘experimental alt-folk’ style, sounding like the first best take of an untested idea; it’s a song I imagine would otherwise be watered down and diluted if they thought about it too much and tried repeated takes in the studio.

The experimentation carries over to Mote’s stream of conscious lyrics. “Maze” is a labyrinth of thoughts and ideas tied to the song’s spindly arrangements; “Each And Every One Of My Heads”, the closest thing to a conventional song on Mote, is a song of heartbreaking tenderness and vulnerability that closes out in a cacophony of church bells — another random speck of a musical idea, another detour down a train of thought. It’s the perfect set-up for coda “Yawning”, echoing Mote’s opening minutes in that it also sounds like a song about to invert itself, expertly encapsulating Dil Brito’s record-length experiment in its final lines: “We wore weeks, wearing out our names. Nearly the same. Lilting off to break again. Year yawning back on me. Years yawning back on me.”

Jim Di Gioia

CoFounder at DOMINIONATED.ca
Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.

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