One need only listen to twenty seconds of The Dowling Poole’s music to immediately recognize their influences. This London-based duo consisting of multi-instrumentalists Willie Dowling and Jon Poole exudes classic British Invasion stylings in their music, something that has been the catalyst for them generating a rather devoted following over the years. In the last several months, the two performers have been hard at work releasing a slew of new music.
In December, The Dowling Poole debuted Deep Breath, a three song EP that is the third in their series of short EP’s that began in November. The duo’s incredibly dynamic sound is superbly portrayed in the EP’s eponymous introductory track. Deep Breath, the song, was clearly written with Sgt. Pepper’s in mind. The duo’s remarkable harmonies cascade in sonic waterfalls heavily reminiscent of the Fab Four. The cinematic orchestration and production of Deep Breath is, well, breathtaking .
Deep Breath is more than a pretty aural face, however, because it’s quite intelligent, too! The lyrics of the first track express clear dismay with the increasingly conservative populist political climate of the world that fostered movements like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Perhaps smartly, though, the duo breaks up their political intensity by putting A Kiss On The Ocean in the middle of their EP, a lovely acoustic ballad that was recorded live.
Paper, Scissors, Stone closes Deep Breath with some socio-political musings about society’s hierarchy and whether or not it’s
working well for those underneath it. (I’d wager The Dowling Poole wouldn’t think so.) The impact of these recordings is far more compelling now, too, given that Donald Trump was elected president between the time they were recorded and now.
Thus, The Dowling Poole didn’t stay silent long, releasing a tune in February called Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions. Taking aim at the new United States president, the jauntily performed live acoustic track is spectacularly well written. The Dowling Poole are doing what art does best with singles like this: they’re being analytical of the world around them and using their creativity to make a statement.
Whether one loves or loathes Donald Trump, the artistic outpour in the aftermath of his election is undeniably fascinating. The Dowling Poole are doing what art does best, and doing it very, very well. They want to speak out against the conservative overhauls of the US and the UK, and they’re pairing that with terrifically performed, sharp songwriting.
Song Rating: 5 stars.
Song Rating Guide
1 Star = Don’t Bother
2 Stars = Cannot Recommend
3 Stars = Would Listen Again
4 Stars = A Solid Song
5 Stars = Must Own (CD/Stream Download)
Author’s Note: British pop group The Dowling Poole has released an acoustic live recording of the song Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions, and it’s now available as a free download via Bandcamp. The full electric version of the song is available from the groups critically acclaimed debut album Bleak Strategies, which was released in 2014.
“The song was written about Donald Trump before he was the evil overlord for the entire planet, when he was just a simple billionaire tyrant, trying to kick people out of their homes in Aberdeenshire so he could have another exclusive golf course for his elitist chums”, says Willie Dowling.
Brett David Stewart works as a journalist in the city of Chicago specializing in covering music, the arts, and investigative pieces. Stewart was previously the editor-in-chief of Strike Magazine, a music publication in Denver, Colorado, and he has worked as a music columnist for Classic Rock History, The Guardian Liberty Voice, and many other outlets.