Q&A: The Dove & The Wolf Talk Humble Beginnings, Paris Attacks & “Seven Days” Video

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Photo: CJ Harvey

The Dove & The Wolf will release their 2016 EP, I Don’t Know How To Feel, in March. 

The Philadelphia-based French duo is a joint songwriting team of best friends, Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat, who have been playing together for more than 10 years. Their songs contain beach-y, lush melodies about heartbreak and leaving home. In the midst of putting together their first full-length album, they traveled to Paris in late 2015 to renew their U.S. work visas. The aftermath of that experience led to the creation of I Don’t Know What to Feel.

Pre-order the album here and get a free download of an exclusive track.

Now, the duo is back with the video for their latest single, “Seven Days.” It is an exquisite interpretation of the emotional track. In the visual, a dancer is featured performing a beautiful improvised routine. 

Watch the entire video below, and read on for the duo’s thoughts on their humble beginnings, crafting the album, and their future goals. 

OTW: Let’s start at the beginning – how was The Dove & The Wolf born?

D&W: We started playing music together the day we met, 13 years ago. But up until 5 years ago, playing music together was just something that we did for fun. We both had separate projects and would sing on each other’s songs but never really considered starting a project together. And then one day we wrote a song together, then two, and then three, and the band naturally started shaping up from there. Having waited 8 years to start co-writing is probably the reason why it’s so easy for us to play together, because singing and writing together takes to really know one another.

OTW: What’s the story behind your name? 

D&W: It’s kind of cheesy but true: it came in a dream. “Paloma” means dove in Spanish, and “Lou” means wolf in French.

OTW: Where does your passion for music come from? 

D&W: Very good question! Music is a dream-enabler. It makes you feel and understand more.

OTW: Your single, “Seven Days,” was written following the terrorist attacks in Paris of November 2015. How did It feel to be surrounded by the emotional intensity of the brutal attacks?

D&W: The answer is in the title of the new record: I Don’t Know What To Feel. There really aren’t any words to describe the stream of feelings everyone went through, but seeing the way so many people came together as one was a very beautiful thing.

OTW: In an interview with NPR, you both said you were reluctant to make a video for the song because you didn’t want images to distract from the content. What was it like seeing the video come together?

D&W: It was incredibly special. We were in the room with Jasmine Mendoza, the dancer, the Director Eliu and the DP Drew. And watching Jasmine improvising to the music, feeling every note was very emotional; we were tearing up. Expressing emotions with your body is so powerful. Dance was the only thing we knew would represent the feel and meaning of this song.

OTW: You are currently living in Philadelphia, right? How is the music scene over there? What are your favorite hang-out spots in Philly?

D&W: Yep, Philly is the best. The music scene here is great; there’s a really awesome community of musicians. People really do help each other. Some of our favorite musicians are releasing music very soon–keep an eye out for Nightlands and Laser Background’s new albums.

OTW: What is next for The Dove & The Wolf?

D&W: Well Fat Possum is re-releasing the record we made with Dave Hartley and Nick Krill last spring, on March 24, with two bonus songs. We’re going on tour with Jens Lekman in Texas, California, UK and Scandinavia. Then SXSW, and we’ve been recording a bunch of new songs which we are very excited about.

OTW: Who is on your Ones To Watch list and why?

D&W: Anthony LaMarca. We just saw him play at the annual Silver Ages show (a Philadelphia all men acapella band), and his performance was so real and honest. So much beauty.  Keep an eye out for his record, and he’s going on tour with Nightlands this spring–make sure not to miss them!

And Jesse Hale Moore who played on I Don’t Know What To Feel has released two singles off of his new album and they’re stellar; he’s a musical (and human) angel.

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