THE DOLL “Hiss” (Big Sleep Records)

Is it weird that I keep picking up this tape, hoping against hope that the luscious red bubble wrap adorning its j-card will somehow become tactile enough that I can pop it with gleeful abandon? Does it help or make it worse that the sound of bubble wrap popping is a central element in lead track “Bubblewrap”? Is it concerning to anyone else that I’ve now just dug through my trash looking for any scrap of bubble wrap among the discarded Amazon boxes (damn you, Amazon, and your giant bags of air!) and mailers that these cassettes come in?

I’m going to say, yes, worse, and hopefully.

But that’s not why I’m here. Or you either. You’ve got work today, you need to stay focused.

The Doll manipulates sound – that’s a given! – but these field recordings tell a story grounded in everyday events, in real life, in the physical world around us that we can touch and feel and embrace – and pop! Throughout “Hiss,” during which there’s a lot of the titular sonic flourish, The Doll observes, records, and reflects, flashing commentary on the disposability of objects through the sound associated with them. Take the car alarm on “Home Sweet Home” for example – the impermanence of an automobile is juxtaposed against the idea of a lasting place of dwelling, yet the imposition of the noise reinforces the idea that the car is going to wind up as junk at some point. Also, the home itself is violated by the noise, a crack in its ironclad defenses as a place of safety, maybe to the point where the home will one day be abandoned itself.

Disposability! Bubble wrap! We pop it, it flattens, and oceans more of it is manufactured. We live, we die, and other people fuck to replace us. Circle of life. This time I mean that.

But still, the noises burbling out of this one are cool. See where it takes you.

The Doll 

Big Sleep Records