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Dorothy, is a Los Angeles-based alternative rock band. The band’s high voltage show evolves from lead singer Dorothy Martin’s range of vocals that hold the power of a 70’s legend.
Dorothy is signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and is working with the empowering record label We Are Hear, founded by Linda Perry and Kerry Brown. Their recent single “Down to the Bottom Live” was featured in Rolling Stone‘s column ‘The Playlist’ as the “perfect mix of blues thunder and alt-rock guitar crunch.”
“This guy was telling me all this stuff that no one else could possibly know,” says Dorothy Martin, the singer and namesake of Los Angeles band Dorothy. “The theme from The Twilight Zone was playing in my head. It was a ritual cleaning, where this medicine man from Guadalajara spit all over me and blew smoke in my face. It was crazy. Then, we went and climbed a pyramid. When we got to the top there were all these butterflies everywhere. It felt like a dream. But, the weirdest part is that I had written the song before this happened.”
As Dorothy Martin talks about her favorite song (“Medicine Man”) from her band’s debut on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, you begin to realize the precise reason why her music is so bewitching.
“We’re not trying to fit into a box. We’re not trying to write songs we think should be on the radio,” Martin says. “We just want to write good music. For me, the challenge is to be as honest as possible. I cannot live my life as a lie, at all. Every day, I wake up and think, ‘What can I learn today and how can I give something back?’ This is not selfishly motivated. The picture is bigger than me. It has nothing to do with me. It has to do with everybody. How is this going to make me better, other people better, the world better? If you don’t have that, then why even do it?”
Martin is adamant about Dorothy being a group effort, but she no longer has to make that plea once you’ve heard the songs. The music they make is undeniably the sound of five, a muscular rhythm section elevated by the melodic counterpoint of guitar and vocals, all woven together into something not exactly rock, or blues, or punk, or even a combination of all three. Dorothy is its own invention, built upon familiar foundations, but sounding only like itself. Take “Raise Hell,” a song that shuffles along with nothing less than the blues-rock audacity of a lost Led Zeppelin track. The first verse arrives and Martin upends the whole affair, floating high above the floor-stomp kick drum and slide guitar, conducting this sinister orchestra without a baton, but the singular force of her incomparable voice. Go ahead and make your comparisons, you are not wrong. This is music that belongs on the historical timeline that runs from Black Sabbath up to Rid of Me-era PJ Harvey and right through recent bands like the Dead Weather. But this is Dorothy—next on that list, written in bold, not hiding inside an overcrowded timeline.
The momentum of Dorothy’s rise speaks for itself. Just as Martin describes the formation of the band as something akin to fate, Dorothy’s recent tour in support of Miguel, Rolling Stone putting them high on their list of new bands to know, Levi’s grabbing the track “Wicked Ones” for an international campaign, and the band’s self-made clip for “After Midnight” captivating none other than the decision-makers at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to sign the band to a label not usually interested in rock bands—Dorothy’s ascent is as transcendent as that pyramid in Mexico City adorned with the flapping wings of magic butterflies. In other words, you can’t really explain it, so step aside or join in. Either way, this thing, this Dorothy, it’s coming right at you.