Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Voodoo Review: Patrick Doval

If you were a British teenager in the 1980’s, you knew a thing or two about New Wave. There was the Human League, Fun Boy Three, Soft Cell, Gary Numan, and festival-monster band The Cure. Robert Smith’s big hair was so awesome, if you put him in a leather miniskirt he could have been mistaken for Tina Turner from the back of the stadium.

Until now, you wouldn’t think that anyone could equal the sound those heavyweight bands did in the 80’s. But someone has, and what’s more impressive, is that it’s just the one guy making it, with an image bang in line for the 21st Century. Put it this way - Buffy and Bella would be fighting over him while the vampires in Sunnydale and Forks would still be single and sulking…

Patrick Doval is an artist who knows what his strong point is, and hits it right on the head.

Alternative/New Wave/Indie
Albums: Deliverance and Fractured available on iTunes and Amazon mp3


Don’t Let Me Go
This is what took me straight back to schooldays in the 80’s, even before the vocal started. The drumbeats and strings are spot on - and then the vocal kicks in. That first teenage crush…

Endless Heartbreak
So catchy it could be a lost Cure track - “That phone rings… it’s never you…” - “Monday blues… always thinking of you…” Great lyrical couplets that stick in your head because they’re so true, matched to an even sparkier guitar riff that makes it memorable. Just like the person you’re waiting to get that call from…

Ashes Of Life
Rockier in sound and still staying in the same influence, almost Soft Cell meets Eurythmics in the middle and a teen angst theme that anyone can identify with (especially if you remember what teen angst felt like in the 80’s…)

A different intro with strings and semi-acoustic guitars, this rolls as it rocks, but stops short of being a ballad - a bass guitar riff in the middle and vocal tone picks out the cynicism in the theme “I know… you’ve seen it all before…” It’s a strangely upbeat track, even though “Tears are falling down from me…”

An impressive vocal range doesn’t go to waste in this track, but showcases it instead. This was what impressed me when first listening to Patrick’s music, that he sounds as confident as though he has the backing of a full band, and is just focusing on the vocals. Another track with a rockier backing sound, combined with a lullaby vocal that has been used to great effect - think of the B52’s “Deadbeat Club”, or Brit duo Erasure.

When the first teen crush comes to nought in New-Wave, there’s the soul-mate lined up, bringing a heartfelt promise of commitment forth - “You are my everything… the only one for me…” And it sounds as though the homework went out of the window and the best friends were abandoned and parents’ orders fell on deaf ears - just like real life…

Don’t Walk Away
…But what happens if the soul-mate chooses a different path? “It wasn’t your fault that the rain came” - the lyrics admit to sharing the responsibility, but “You and I see eye to eye - I know how you feel deep down inside.” More of those simple but great statements about love in a New-Wave world where all is black-and-white and the reasons are clear to everyone concerned… in the end, a plea to hold on and not let go…

Shattered Dreams
A third-person narrative tale after the soul-mate has departed. More impressive vocal in this one as well - if The Breakfast Club and The Lost Boys were combined and had an unhappily-ever-after, this could be the epilogue.

Many Faces
After the spell of adolescence is broken, you look back and wonder what made you the person you are today, the influences that brought on so many changes, the brief connections that left their mark but somehow failed to reach symbiosis - are you a chameleon or a ghost, do you belong anywhere or drift above it all… and what might you have missed…?

…Is it the solution, or just the answer to the previous question? Maybe all there is left are the “dream(s) of you” - “do you even care… whatever happened to love…” The lyrics are still in love with and falling for the soul-mate - or perhaps just the idea of being in love, over and over again. So is love obtainable or just a dream? You decide…

New Wave still rocks…

L xxxxxxx

(Photo courtesy of Patrick Doval)


  1. Love Patrick's work, very talented individual!

  2. Musician sing about the relationships ,love feeling,shatter touch..though many songs in a light sorrow curl tone &names.but the moon not always round.Thats a kind of beauty as Ancient Chinese poet let me think about the patric's songs:"falling flowers a sole soul standing in,duet swallows flying under small fog raining."