DVA. Czech for “two.” Two what? Two who? Well, Bára Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl are the two, the two members of DVA. The Czech duo have released 5 studio albums, gaining more and more attention across Europe and beyond with each, and seemingly getting a major boost in interest after creating the soundtrack to a video game called Botanicula (which I’ve yet to check out, but people seem to love). Their latest record, called NIPOMO, was released by HOME TABLE in the EU, and in the US by one of the greatest labels currently occupying American soil, NORTHERN SPY.
A long ingredient list of influences and sounds greet a listener of DVA’s music. These are songs, but with underlying electronic textures and beats, melded organically to all manner of guitar, saxophone, and otherwise.
Kratochvílová’s vocals bend in insane directions, her melodies offering up hooks where there aren’t supposed to be hooks. Idiosyncratic, often electronic, pop, singular in its nature, but if I was forced to call out the name of a contemporary I would yell TUNE YARDS. The feel ranges from modernized Eastern European folk music, on through afro-pop, and various strains of indie pop. The duo makes “pop for non-existing radios,” to use their phrase. And I like that a lot. I don’t hear much music in this vein that I give a damn about, but DVA are packing something. If NORTHERN SPY is giving the thumbs up I generally take notice; and here with DVA, once again, they seem to really know how and when to use that thumb of theirs.
DVA plays tonight, 9/4, @ Club Bohemia, in Cambridge’s Central Sq. for the NEU MF 14′ COMMENCEMENT RITUAL, the epic beginning to this year’s NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND MUSIC FEST.