Staff Writer/The Horn RVA
Despite performing with two bands, crafting mind-bending visual art installations and working with local multimedia powerhouse The Subterranea Collective, VCU senior Brian Dove had more to creatively express.
Dove spent the summer working in North Carolina, apart from his primary musical gig as lead singer and guitarist of Brother Wolf, a five-piece experimental group that performs regularly in Richmond. In Brother Wolf, Dove’s emphasis on melding folk with orchestral, movement-based song structure defines the band’s lush chamber-psych compositions. But without a direct connection to his bandmates while out of state, his songs began to take on a more minimalist instrumentation, focusing on lyrical content and traditional form.
“I wanted to write things out of the style that Brother Wolf plays. I had some things I needed to get out,” Dove said. “So, that’s what happened: I became Antiphons.”
After his self-proclaimed transformation, Dove went on a recording spree. His roommates lent him their equipment and insight, and the self-recording sessions yielded take after take of wonderful material, Dove said.
But then, digital tragedy struck.
“I had burned a few of the rough mixes to a disk and mailed them to my good friend in California,” Dove said. “Then I lost all of my files (in a syncing error on DropBox), so all that existed in the world (of the recordings) was that disk in California.”
Not to be discouraged, Dove recovered four rough mixes from the planned LP and chose to release them as the Lost Moth EP.
“In retrospect, I’m pretty happy about it,” Dove said. “I think they sound great by themselves.”
Dove performed as Antiphons for a handful of house shows upon returning to Richmond, and debuted full-band renditions of some songs at The Camel on Sept. 22.
Dove described his Antiphons collaborators as “some of my best friends who happen to be super talented,” including Brother Wolf bandmate and guitarist Tommy Terrell.
Despite adding full band accompaniment to some of the songs, Dove also knows when to shed instruments.
“Some of these songs needed a little more,” Dove said. “But I think some need to be just guitar and vocals. Really, I hate playing a whole set by myself.”
Despite the hype surrounding the recent Antiphons performances, Dove made it clear that Brother Wolf is still his primary musical outlet. While he said he has no current plans for future Antiphons performances or recordings, Brother Wolf will perform at Gallery5 on Nov. 21 with Kayo Dot and Crossing the Event Horizon.