Dot is like some gifted child locked in the attic of the music industry - Peter Doherty
After leaving Scottish trio One Dove, (the band she founded in the early 90s whose beautiful song "White Love" was an underground hit in 1993), the Edinburgh-born vocalist Dot Allison signed as a solo artist to Heavenly Records in 1997. She released her critically acclaimed debut "Afterglow" which featured a co-write with legendary songwriter Hal David and performances from Mani Mounfield and loud guitar hero Kevin Shields. Dot's unique voice was heard on several film soundtracks and an international Levis ad campaign. She also lent her lush voice to Massive Attack on two world tours. Always keeping busy, Dot has also written for several films including the song "Colour Me" from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Sheepskin Tearaway" on "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Aftersun" on "Unleased" with Massive Attack again. Dot's haunting voice also appears in "Henry Mind Of A Tyrant"(David Starkey). Over the years Dot has also carved a niche for herself as an in-demand DJ. Hopping through labels for her next 2 albums "We Are Science" and "Exaltation Of Larks" Dot now brings us to "Room 7 ½".
Room 7 ½ is an unusual and arresting collection of heartfelt pleas demanding true love amongst an atmospheric-noir backdrop of some beauty. The album is produced by PJ Harvey producer Rob Ellis and Dot herself. The featured musicians on "Room 7 ½" are Bad Seeds members Mick Harvey, James Johnston and the wonderful Mr Terry Edwards. The 11 songs are all delivered in Dot's velveteen lose-yourself-in-them unique vocals, occasionally punctuated by the eternally youthful yells of Peter Doherty or sexy growl of Paul Weller.
"I got involved with Paul Weller as he texted me out of the blue one night when he was out with Bobby Gillespie" says Dot, "He just introduced himself, explained he got my number from Bob and asked if I fancied writing a song with him". So, off they went and the result is "Love's Got Me Crazy". The album's other duet, the frenetic "I Wanna Break Your Heart", is with Peter Doherty. Dot has collaborated with Peter on many occasions; whether it's co-writing songs or performing with Babyshambles. She also co-wrote the duet "Sheepskin Tearaway" on his debut solo album. Dot explains how the partnership between herself and Peter came about
"I sang on "At The Flophouse" without even meeting him (He liked my voice from afar and asked me to cover it as a B- side for The Shambles)I went to the studio and it was just me and the engineer, so I recorded it myself. Later he texted me to ask me to perform with him singing Carl's parts at The Rhythm Factory... and that was the beginning to our long term writing and performing partnership"
The final piece of this collaboration triumvirate came in the form of the Bad Seeds' Mick Harvey for "Cry". Dot was also a fan of his work with PJ Harvey and she wanted to create a similar sound for "Room 7 ½". She says "I asked (producer) Rob Ellis to approach Mick, James Johnston and Terry Edwards of the Bad Seeds to help me get that natural sound. With these musicians, I love the looseness and space they leave and their choice of sound and harmony, I think they are incredibly empathic, emotive players"
The album also features a cover of the Scott Walker song "Montague Terrace (in Blue)" which originally appeared on the tribute album "30th Century Man".
Scott requested that Dot join his theatrical production of "Drifting And Tilting" (The songs of Scott Walker) at The Barbican in Autumn 2008 alongside Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker and Baritone Owen Gilhooly among others.
Dot is currently moving into film score work. She recently collaborated with Christian Henson for the new horror movie directed by Chris Smiths which is called "Triangle" where her voice is a large part of the original score.
Full track listing: