Originally Published: November 23, 2016 6:27 p.m.
The Raven Café has hosted just about every genre of live music over the years — perhaps only excluding heavy metal.
Returning to the European-style café at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, will be a band that melds a good many of those genres.
Hello Dollface describes its music as vagabond soul, “a genre tour of throwback, passionate, soulful ballads, downtempo electronica, jazz, pop, lyrical R&B jams, with the slightest hint of reggae,” said vocal powerhouse Ashley Edwards.
“Think Stevie Wonder meets Portishead and you’re pretty close to the sound,” said Raven Café General Manager Mike Richey.
Edwards frontlines the band while bass player Jesse Ogle provides heavy backbeats and funky rhythms.
Though originally from Colorado, the duo has spent much time developing strong ties and friendships within their network of thriving music and artist community in Arizona, according to the band’s biography.
“We feel often closer to Arizona than we do Colorado,” Ogle said.
Hello Dollface is currently on a several-month tour to showcase its newest album, Warrior of Light.
The LP encapsulates a series of pop/rock/downtempo electronic elements, balanced by jazz influenced syncopations and instrumental solos.
The song “Test Crash” starts quietly, with subtle snare rim shots, a meandering bass line and twinkling piano, the biography said. The soundscape opens up by adding dub effects to Edwards’ voice, before she takes flight on a series of breathtaking improvisations, while the band’s rhythmic accents wander in and out of time.
The jazzy R&B of “Intuition” floats along, with Edwards scatting in the background. The chorus opens with a volley of distorted power chords, sliding into a bridge, featuring a vocalese rap and a bright, sinuous solo.
“These songs are filled with a balance of angst and acceptance,” Edwards says. “Letting go and shifting your perspective are the underlying themes on this album.”