Liam Docherty molds vintage soul into something fearsome and kinetic on “Dorothy,” part of his upcoming East Coast Edits EP. The approach here is tried and true — find an under-appreciated oldie, preferably one with a stirring, textured lead vocal, then tinker with the constituent parts until everything is taut and weaponized. In this case, the results are unimpeachable.
“Dorothy” starts with a cascade of hand percussion and a slicing brass loop. The backing vocals arrive first in the form of a descending line that stays just out of hearing; that means when the lead enters, it has the unstoppable force of a bowling ball in flight. The guitarist frequently stops articulating the central melody to worry over a single note, building tension with single-minded ferocity; when this becomes too itchy and nerve-wracking, a horn riff sweeps in with a decisive flourish to reassure dancers that they are in safe hands. “Dorothy” is an emotional whirlwind compressed into six-and-a-half thrilling minutes; it could easily go one for twice as long, and no one would object.
East Coast Edits is due out March 9. The four-song release is coming through Denis Sulta’s Silver Service record label, founded in 2018. Pulse-quickening Sulta favorites like “Dubelle Oh XX (JVIP)” and “It’s Only Real” have quietly amassed several million streams on Spotify.