Photo by Marc Atkins (www.marcatkins.com)

I’ll make this quick. I am in Chicago, stealing an hour between design concept meetings and wedding rehearsals to write this. It’s been a busy weekend so far and I still have another 48 hours and 400 mile drive to look forward to. I’ll be honest with you, I’m exhausted. Wednesday, I made the seven-hour drive here after working a full day. At least I had the Pipettes to keep me company for the last 250 miles of my trip (the album that is, not that I would have minded if one or all of them had decided to tag along). And after all that quality time together, I thought it was only fair that I give the post-Pipettes work of Rose Elinor Dougall a more substantial share of an entry than I did last time.

If you know the Pipettes, you probably love them just as I do. This really isn’t anything like that. It’s not the 60s girl-group sound with an edge that the Pipettes execute so well–and I don’t think I would be as enamored with it if it was. Her solo work is more atmospheric: swirling guitars (“Fallen Over”), synthesizers, unorthodox chord changes that extend phrases just long enough to hold your attention, and more frequent use of minor tonalities give the music a darker character. Of special note is the balled “False Hopes” in which sequential modal piano fills and masterfully placed dissonances combine to create a song that is cathartically heartbreaking.

To date, she has released three singles (“Another Version of Pop Song”, “Fallen Over”, and “Start/Stop/Synchro”) which are still available for purchase at here. More recently, however, the folks at Vinyl Junkie have put together a compilation called Singles 1,2,3 featuring the first three singles plus an additional demo, “First Time This Year”. And, in case you were wondering, work on a full-length album is being “tied up in a lovely ribbon” as I write this. In the meantime, head over to MySpace to hear a handful of tracks while you wait for the real thing. Still, I am hoping they’ll finish tying up that ribbon soon, because, honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I can survive without this record.

The preliminary sketches for the T-shirts look brilliant. I think I’m in love. I’m not going to show them to you just yet–not until we finalize a few more details–but in the meantime, check out some examples of Brittney’s work and also her Etsy shop. I’m pretty sure she’s a genius.

Here’s the video for “Start/Stop/Synchro”:

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