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Claes Dorthé

Have a Day Shorter - Single (2021)


Review By Kyle Yampiro

April 8, 2022

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Have a Day Shorter streams on Spotify

Kyle Yampiro

With a smoky timbre and support from vocal trio Solala, Claes Dorthé channels doo-wop and folk elements to let listeners relax for a few minutes with Have a Day Shorter.

The recording style is one of extreme realism: it's easy to feel as if you're in a reverberent live space with the musicians. The extremely minimal processing captures the purity of close triadic harmony from the bassy Solala and the subtly changing chords. The balance between background singers and soloist is also excellent, permitting clarity to hear the soulful, alluring tone quality from Dorthé. The imagery in William Cowper's 200-year-old lyrics is vivid, and the simplicity of the tune combined with the vocalists' tone transports listeners to another place; for me, one that is pastoral and peaceful.

The double-edged sword here is that the same realistic, quasi-live quality that makes the piece sound so authentic and raw does not augment or fix moments in which the background singers veer off in intonation or tone. Most notably, a bass vocal fry on the last chord overshadows the song's finality. This is also subject to taste: where there is a perceivable imperfection in intonation, there is also relief in the unprocessed result.

If you're feeling burdened by the weight of the world, I'm happy to recommend taking a deep breath and three minutes off with the smooth sounds of Solala and Claes Dorthé delivering centuries-old text.


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