After taking some time out to raise a family, Scottish singer and songwriter, Dot Allison returned in 2021 with the beautiful brilliant Heart-Shaped Scars – an album which included “Very special thanks” to a wide variety of people including our podcast subject matter – Paul Weller!
Her new album deservedly featured in Paul’s list of favourites from 2021.
Another lovely connection with PW comes in the form of a few stunning string arrangements & conducting from Weller alumni (and Podcast Episode 57 guest) Hannah Peel, which we chat about in our conversation.
Our podcast also hears how she & Paul first connected through a text out of the blue from Paul saying “‘I’m with Bobby Gillespie. He’s given me your number. He says you’re good, do you fancy writing a song together?”. The collaboration that followed – Love’s Got Me Crazy was recorded at Black Barn Studio (Paul Weller HQ) for Dot’s album Room 7½ in 2009.
Over the next 45 minutes, we dive into her career, her approach to songwriting and creativity, her welcome return to music, the importance and beauty of nature, human destruction and so much more…
Click your preferred podcast platform to listen , and find some more links to things we talk about below…
EP92 – Dot Allison – Singer-Songwriter… ”Steady as rocks, two halves of one we cling” – Desperately Seeking Paul : Paul Weller Fan Podcast
2002 – Death in Vegas – Scorpio Rising
Whilst they didn’t perform together on the 3rd album from Death in Vegas AKA Richard Fearless – this is a nice little Paul Weller connection that we talk about on the podcast. Track 8 features Paul on lead vocals with Mani on Bass, Seamus Beaghen on Organ and host of strings conducted by Indian violin prodigy Dr Subramaniam for a version of Gene Clark’s So You Say You Lost Your Baby. Track 9 follows on with a song called Diving Horses with vocals and lyrics from Dot Allison. Nice connection right?
2009 – Room 7 1/2
Released in September 2009 – this is another lovely album, with Dot singing and playing acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica and autoharp across the album.
Peter Doherty (The Libertines / Baby Shambles) has a couple of co-write credits and duets / plays guitar too.
Paul Weller sings and plays guitar with Dot on their co-write Love’s Got Me Crazy. Steve Cradock also steps up for guitar and keyboard duty with Lucy Wilkins on violin.
You can also hear Paul’s original demo with Hannah Andrews (now Hannah Weller) on the deluxe version of 22 Dreams.
Now out of print & seemingly unavailable on my streaming channels – Room 7 1/2 is crying out for a vinyl re-issue in 2022 !
2021 – Heart-Shaped Scars
On all of the best-of lists for 2021 – this album is a remarkable return – packed full of beautiful songs.
The LP (which I have on stunning green double vinyl) has had incredible reviews…
“An album of quiet delights / An elegantly understated comeback / gorgeous bucolic folk / a thing of magical soap bubble delicacy, closer to ambient folk than the electronica with which she made her name / Honeysuckle – Like a flower blooming out of concrete.”
The album is produced by Dot Allison and Fiona Cruickshank. Fiona has also just worked with Paul Weller (on the On Sunset & Fat Pop albums) along with the likes of Coldplay, George Michael, The Divine Comedy, George Ezra and Freya Ridings.
Hannah Peel arranges & conducts strings on album opener Long Exposure, Track 7 Forever’s Not Much Time, Track 9 One Love, and album closer Goodbye.
You can buy the album here
May 2022 – The Entangled Remix EP
The Entangled Remix EP is a true love letter to fans of Dot Allison, harkening back to the danceable electronica sound of her early days in One Dove and breathing newfound energy into some of her most beautiful and thought-provoking songwriting of her career from Heart-Shaped Scars.
From the addicting dub grooves of Lee “Scratch” Perry (whose remix here was actually his final creative act), to the mellow, reverb-tinged beauty of the contributions by both Anton Newcombe and Saint Etienne, to the more synth-heavy reworkings by The Anchoress and Lomond Campbell, the Entangled Remix EP runs the gamut of styles and emotions and builds to an utterly euphoric high.
You can buy the EP here
Dot Allison Discography
1993 – Morning Dove White (One Dove)
1999 – Afterglow
2002 – We Are Science
2003 – Acoustic (Limited release of 200 copies, distributed at Massive Attack gigs in 2003)
2007 – Exaltation of Larks
2009 – Room 7 1/2
2009 – Acoustic 2 (Limited released, only available at Dot Allison shows)
2012 – Pioneers 1 (The first of a collection of the “Pioneers” series on Imagem for Boosey & Hawkes).
2021 – Heart-Shaped Scars