Press for Lullabies and Wake-Up Calls

Looking like one of Robert Palmer’s models, Thorpe has a voice and aesthetic that is completely her own. Sure, her throaty vocals might remind you of Natalie Merchant or, more recently, Florence Welch, but her lyrics and musical inclinations are other-worldly. Part folk, part electronica, and part straight-up spoken-word, it’s earcandy with a message . . . But, just as one might expect her to step onto a soapbox, her gorgeous, ethereal singing voice takes over and immediately enchants the listener. She could tell us to do whatever she wants, and I guarantee we’d be out the door before the song finished. It’s this incredible balance that makes Lullabies such a landmark album. The best part is there are clearly no record company gimmicks here, no commercial political statements. It’s just Dinah Thorpe, her soul, and her undeniable talent. - Allison Johnelle Boron for Popdose
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Toronto-based singer, songwriter and poet Dinah Thorpe goes deep and wide on her latest Lullabies and Wake Up Calls (April 15). True to the split strategy referenced in the title, the project runs the stylistic gamut, from quietly mesmerizing balladry to contrasting Laurie-Anderson styled spoken word portraits charged with a streetwise, political flow. At the album's heart remains Thorpe's remarkable voice, whether singing her alt-folk melodies with a delicate, airy tone or letting her words simply tumble out, in dramatic rhyme -- and sometimes both within the span of a single song ("Hold A Place"). As the last notes and syllables fade, what remains is an album that both incites and inspires, pulling you into the warmth while simultaneously pushing you to think. - Direct Current

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Can you say “Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, and Arrested Developement” together? - Middle Tennessee Music

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...a soft-spoken Natalie Merchant with the unapologetic opinions of Natalie Maines, and vocally reminiscent of translucent songstress fairies Feist and Olga Bell. - Earmilk

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...this is truly a showcase of versatile talent...I can’t stop listening to it, because much like a good genre-mashing movie, I catch something new on every new play through. - Troy Arnold for Examiner.com

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Click here to read an interview with Ellen Vaagen for Wordkrapht

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The enigmatic Dinah Thorpe has drawn comparisons to everyone from Feist to Nina Simone over the course of her 5 year career. Her newest offering, Lullabies and Wake-Up Calls, presents her sultry take on a few classics while showcasing her idiosyncratic songwriting...Dinah gives her incredible voice a few breaks on the album and uses the free space to drop spoken-word raps about the unfortunate state of things. The brilliant “Can I see what’s in your backpack?” sets its sights on the unceasing momentum of the Western world. - Mike Olinger for The Vinyl District


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Dinah Thorpe's Lullabies could be a Wake-Up Call for your mix - Jedi Bret for Small Barn Sound

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Lullabies and Wake-Up Calls is a very apt name for this album. And the album kicks as much ass as the superhero with whom Toronto-based musician Dinah Thorpe shares a first name . . . Several things make Dinah Thorpe’s music so excellent. First is the control with which she plays her instruments. It’s as though she’s mapped out where everything fits for perfect use, and she’s meticulous . . . This album is so deliciously twisted..." - Michael Thomas for Grayowl Point

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The enigmatic Canadian songstress Dinah Thorpe is definitely an artist I would carefully label ‘one of a kind’. Though over the course of her career she has drawn comparisons to everyone from Feist to Nina Simone, Thorpe’s unique message and delivery have consistently set her apart from the pack. Her newest offering, ‘Lullabies and Wake Up Calls’, demonstrates her daring eclecticism and dry wit...Dinah makes it clear within the first few bars of ‘Lullabies and Wake Up Calls’ that she is in no way tied to the lineage of guitar strumming female singer who fain sexiness as they whisper sweet nothings over their electro-tinged folk. No, no, this is a real artist; the kind that harks back to the days Annie Lennox and KD Lang. The video for the single ‘Hold A Place’ finds the no frills Thorpe wondering around her neighbourhood with little more than her charisma and a nice mural in back. - Penny Stevens for Awediohub

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With her third full-length album, Lullabies and Wake-up Calls, Thorpe has firmly established herself as an innovative singer-songwriter who fearlessly takes chances with her undefinable sound. “Time to try” is an excellent example of the diversity Thorpe brings to her music. Part brilliant political rap about the endemic corruption in modern life, part harmonic ballad, “Time to Try” is both catchy and contemplative, and, oddly enough, it’s also danceable. Then there’s the smoky, torch-infused “Carsick,” with its chorus borrowed from the Peggy Lee classic “Fever.” Who would have expected a song about rich folks getting richer to be quite so appealing? As with all Thorpe’s songs, the lyrics are as insightful as they are clever . . . Beat-boxing? It’s here, too. On “Can I See What’s in Your Backpack,” she employs some sweet spoken word to knock the piss out of the mindless consumer culture that thinks nothing of constant cultural appropriation. “State of things,” with its ukulele accompaniment, is an upbeat, fun ditty critical of incarceration rates in Canada, prorogued parliaments and Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Highly recommended. - Cindy Filipenko, Herizons



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12 review by Direct Current

To say that Toronto indie chanteuse Dinah Thorpe defies easy categorization is to misunderstand the word "easy". Listening to 12, Thorpe's provocative and supremely artful new album officially arriving stateside next week, everything -- and we mean everything -- seems to come rather easy, actually, to this chameleon-like songwriter and instrumentalist. It's just that any concept of genre barrier means nothing. Country? Pop? Moody cabaret? Folk? Jazz? It's all up for grabs in this remarkable production. Thorpe has drawn comparisons to Laurie Anderson -- for her smart, theatrical spoken-word tracks set to an electro-beat pulse (see: "Weird", a "song" unlike any you'll hear this or any year). Also, Beth Orton, for the droll, simply laid out alto vocals and spare folk-tronica structures behind songs such as "Every Bit Hurts" and "In The Country". In the end, however, comparisons come down to just so much drivel when searching for the right words to define or describe an artist -- and we do mean artist -- like Thorpe and her 12 fascinating songs. Peel back the layers, dig below the surface -- and then...just keep peeling and digging. That's half the fun. See what we mean when you tackle "Dolly Parton" -- a brilliant bit o' surreal alt-pop that takes a banjo-backed ditty and turns it into the oddest, most understated blues boogie imaginable.

Click here to read the review on directcurrentmusic.com

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12 review by babysue

Wow...Dinah Thorpe is in a word...incredible. This young lady has one of those voices so fantastic that it wouldn't matter what she's singing...because her voice alone is enough to carry her way through any tune. But the voice is really only part of the equation here. In addition to having one of best voices we've heard in the twenty-first century, Ms. Thorpe is also a songwriter of the highest calibre. The tunes on 12 sound something like a peculiar cross between Laurie Anderson and Azure Ray...without ever sounding too much like either. The more we spin this album the harder it becomes to try to describe what's going on here. Dinah incorporates ideas from the past and present...from different genres...into her own slightly perplexing unique universe. And the results are warm, genuine, and intriguing. As if the music weren't enough, the cover is outstanding...made to look like a foldout pinup calendar...with an absolutely killer photograph of Ms. Thorpe in the midst of washing her bicycle (!). This young artist has us completely under her spell. She's cool...she's magical...and she's unique. Killer cuts include "In The Country," "Song For Dolly," "G20," "Settling Back In," and "Tradesman." This will easily end up being one of the best albums of 2012 without a doubt... TOP PICK.

Click here to see the review on babysue.com

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With a sound comparable (yet still unique to) Natalie Merchant, Feist & Olga Bell, Thorpe's soft but sturdy alto speaks to listeners like a casual conversation...I'm such a big fan of artists who can create a unique sound while still remaining relatable. And Dinah Thorpe is unique, relatable...and therefore an impressing conundrum. So please familiarize yourself with her, because it sounds like this talent will be around for awhile. - Anna, looks that rock

Click here to read the whole review

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The record (12) visits territory between country, folk, house, rock, and R&B. Seemingly nothing is outside Dinah’s range. - Michael Finney, Speakercone

Click here to read the whole review

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Click here to read "Beyond the cover: Creative minds reveal the story behind their Juno-nominated album art" by Kevin Ritchie for MSN.

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12 Review by Cindy Filipenko, Herizons, 2012

Toronto’s Dinah Thorpe is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and writer whose work defies definition. Seemingly endlessly creative, the smoky-voiced Thorpe takes her expanding oeuvre into the realms of jazz and country with the release of 12.

Favourably compared to Indigo Girls and Beth Orton, it’s fairer to say that Thorpe is her own woman. While there’s a certain folksiness to her vocals, her music is more sophisticated than that of Emily Saliers or Amy Ray. As for Beth Orton? There are some vocal similarities between the Brit and Thorpe, but that’s where it ends.

Originally conceived as a song cycle that featured a song per month, 12 took on a life of its own and the results are stunning. “Every Bit Hurts” buries the echo-chamber vocals under a thumping, oppressive bass line that acts to exacerbate the feeling of pain that comes with lost love. The song then crescendoes into a dance number that has Thorpe promising, “I’m getting over her.”

Never wimpy when it comes to speaking her mind, on “G20” Thorpe examines the police abuse that accompanied the G20 debacle in 2010.

The genre-hopping Thorpe never fails to delight on the 12 songs that comprise 12. The real surprises come in the form of a dirge-like remake of Chris Isaak’s painful “Wicked Game” and on “Weird,” which is weirdly reminiscent of early Laurie Anderson.

Well worth checking out.

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Dinah Thorpe makes clever, political folk music...A talented storyteller and multi-instrumentalist with a sense of humour, Thorpe’s music is warm, accessible, inviting, and impressive. POP Montréal, 2011

Her bold opinions and engaging beats are a fantastic combo for the academic and the rug cutter. In the Dead of Winter, 2012

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Xtra Feature by Lara Purvis, September 2010


Interview with Lina Harper, September 2009


Lina Harper's Favourite Albums of 2009


Album Review by Shannon Webb-Campbell for The Coast, Halifax

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Alison Lang, The Coast

Thorpe's whimsical songs, accompanied by gentle ukelele or guitar, are offset by her gorgeously deep and weary alto. Fans of the Indigo Girls or Portishead's Beth Gibbons will eat this lady up.

Truths and Other Stories review by Cindy Filipenko, Herizons

Dinah Thorpe’s debut full-length CD is actually a neatly bisected two-disc set called Truths and Other Stories. Thorpe is a wicked multi-instrumentalist with a low, smoky alto. She is also a composer of infinite cleverness. The first disc, Truths, is made up of 10 immensely danceable tracks that employ the deep house staples over some pretty politically right-on lyrics. In fact, a couple of the songs from the primarily acoustic second disc, Other Stories – “Tulip Tree” and “Milk the State” – are given the remix treatment, but on the whole Other Stories has a more organic feeling. Truths and Other Stories demonstrates Thorpe’s excellence as a producer. She knows the rules and breaks them, taking risks that pay off time and time again. Even her use of techno-associated MIDI keyboards and digital enhancements on the folkier “Bike Lane Blues” and “Midi” work. Simply put, Thorpe is extremely talented. Unafraid of quirky instrumentation like the ukulele and nontraditional percussion, Thorpe is in a class of her own writing lyrics that ponder a variety of social phenomena, from obsessive parenthood to subsidies on SUVs. Thorpe’s music speaks to a millennial queer sensibility. It’s urban, it’s everyday and you can dance to it. Break out your grass skirt and lei – even the stuff on ukulele is pretty sweet. Buy this one now.