Like many artists, Gwendolyn Dot’s relationship with music began in the church. The Indianapolis-based producer recalls countless Sundays occupying a pew in the church choir, aimlessly following the monotonous melodies of Methodist church hymnals, singing only partially present in a wispy register. She even took twelve years of piano lessons with the minister’s wife. Years later, Dot has transformed her years of more rigid training into a sonic church of her own, one that exists outside the confines of religious tradition or brick and mortar. Her third single, “placenta et al,” from her upcoming record, mystic responsibility, is a reverent exploration into the cycle of life and the divinity of self.
“The placenta, while representing life, also symbolizes death and rebirth,” says Dot. “In a human life we have the potential to go through many cycles of death and rebirth without the heart ceasing.” Dot says the record she has been working on was meant to honor the cycles she has personally experiened, as well as an attempt at letting them go. Instead of embodying the dark aspects of birth and death – fear, uncertainty, pain – Dot’s music uses aqueous production and analog synths to paint a blissful and serene picture of these transition periods. The song sounds like a spiritual meditation, hinting at rebirth as a key component to self-discovery. Dot repeats “return to birth, body, placenta et al,” throughout the song in the same wispy voice she used in her church choir days, only this time she is fully present and intentional. It’s her version of prayer.
Dot’s ritualistic sounding songs are likely due to her own spiritual journey surrounding this record. “This album is entitled mystic responsibility for good reason,” says Dot. “I’ve been exploring my place in this world and attempting to understand this reality, and wondering… What is the self in relation to others? What is my responsibility to my self, to others, and to this planet as an alive entity? Am I god?”
However deep Dot’s questions go, her music is not clouded with the doom normally paired with existential thought. Instead, it is an extraterrestrial escape, inviting others to participate in her inner dialogue – or just let go and dance a little.
Listen to the exclusive premiere of “placenta et al” via Bandcamp below.