Airy melodies slip out of the darkness as we descend upon the chic “I Never Cry,” the latest single from the critically-acclaimed sibling folk act Dorsten. Even when it’s joined by a fleeting construct of verses that are as stylistically striking as it is aching and full of yearning, the foundation here remains the focal point of our attention as we wade through the first few layers of melody that greet us at the onset of the song. Listeners shouldn’t be deceived by this radiant introduction, though – once singer Sophie Dorsten starts to croon, nothing else in the world seems to matter. Her voice is lively and divinely tender, and though this track will always be best remembered as an Alice Cooper classic, Dorsten’s unique version has the potential to stand the test of time just as well thanks to its charming originality.
There are countless layers of texture for us to dig through in this song, both on the instrumental side and in Sophie’s vocal track, but no matter what component we’re analyzing, the same word consistently comes to mind; grace. This rendition of “I Never Cry” is so much more minimalistic and pointed than the original, but it doesn’t sacrifice any of the band’s natural tonality for its startlingly presence-centric musical wallop. As is the case with all of their work, Dorsten’s close attention to detail doesn’t allow for any of the intricacies in their recordings to go unrecognized, and we’re treated to the symphony of wistful folk/rock that this song was perhaps never intended to be.
I don’t know if they decided to cover this song based on a suggestion from an external party, but there’s no denying that Sophie’s vocal palate is an amazingly well-tuned match for the kind of direction they wanted to go in with this piece. The familiar sway in their poetic cadence is charismatic and anything but recycled, and through her conservative style of attack, this powerful voice never drowns out any of the measured play of her brother transpiring in the background. I’ve always loved this song, and to say that it takes a special sort of artist to give it the definition that it deserves might be the understatement of the year, but in Dorsten, we find musicians who have yet to cut a single between them that didn’t mesmerize both critics and fans alike.
Instrumentally stimulating, cosmetically stunning, and literally the antithesis of your typical cover song, Dorsten’s “I Never Cry” shines like the undisputed gem that it truly is, and from where I sit, elevates the moniker of its star performers to exciting new heights. People have been talking about this act in PHX for a hot minute now, and it doesn’t take much more than a cursory listen of this single to hear precisely what all the fuss has been about. They’ve got a natural, organic talent that you don’t come across every day in this business, and in an era rife with watered-down sound-alikes and tepid recreations of what was once an authentically emotional narrative, their music stands out as a refreshingly cathartic collection of treasured melodies crafted exclusively for sophisticated listeners.
We do music reviews for Independent Artists and Publicists.