Toddlers and runny noses. Beck and artistry. Taylor Swift and awkward award-show courtside dancing. Yep, some things just effortlessly go together. Take the Franco-Finnish duo The Dø who are about to have their “damn right” moment and I’m saying that in my best Isaac Hayes impression (probably someone’s worst). The tandem of Dan Levy and Olivia Merilahti are about to reach their tipping point with Shake Shook Shaken, their third album which dropped in the states yesterday. The LP (proverbial anyway)is a delicious dose of electro-pop and synth gems that will have your pants and ears simultaneously dancing together. I caught up with Merilahti recently and asked her about Shake, the success it’s already had overseas, and more. Read on and read more.


Shake Shook Shaken” has been out for some time already – it’s actually already a smash abroad, but just came out here. How does it feel to go full throttle promoting an album when it’s not new to you? >
It still feels like the beginning, and we’re used to having our albums out at different moments. It’s great to share with new audiences. The good thing is that we know better what this album is about, it’s not like this weird thing that just cracked the egg open.

Word. Your song titles are often blunt or perhaps better said – to the point. Is that something you’re conscious of?
The purpose of this album was to be to the point, direct, frontal. A good title is crucial.

And you nailed it… Was there a theme in terms of the writing and musicality throughout the album process? Is there a theme for each album you do?
There was a sense of heroism that we wanted to achieve in the music. I also wrote a lot about chaos, loosing landmarks after breakups, and the courage it takes to stand up again. We don’t really think of themes beforehand, it would make the process too brainy. The analytic part comes always second.

Who were you more inspired by collectively – musicians from France, Finland, or the States?>
We both grew up with American and English music in our ear: The Beatles, Queen, the ’90s grunge and R&B scene for me and Dan grew up to Coltrane, Wynton Marsalis…Frank Zappa.

That’s an eclectic mix to say the least. You’re touring near and far… what’s one thing you miss about home, and one thing you’re thankful to be away from?
We’re thankful to be away from routine and from a day-to-day reality, but we miss our loved ones a lot.

Lastly, how do you know you’ve made it big? Pick one A) You’re an answer on Jeopardy! B) Nicki Minaj namedrops you in a song. or C) I interview you. D) Please say it’s “C” E) Lifetime makes a tele-film about your lives and gets it totally wrong.
It has to be C as it’s tattooed on my wrist! I promise.

Excuse me while I give myself a self-high five.


About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:

Jon Chattman’s music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles – just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change.

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