More than a year ago, I reviewed Taxi Doll’s album, Here and Now, and loved it. I’ve always had a soft spot for electro-synth pop and Taxi Doll scratched that itch beautifully. Now lead singer Dhana Taprogge has released a new EP of solo material called Confessions of Lily Rogue.
Deeper than Here and Now, Confessions offers a slower, more reflective approach to the music and lyrics. In this slower, solo context, Dhana’s voice provides a textured, emotive counterpoint to the contagious dance beats of her work with Taxi Doll. Don’t let that statement fool you into thinking there’s no bite here, however. These songs deal with the fact that relationships aren’t always wine and roses.
Love is funny. Sometimes one person loves somebody else and that causes tension. But what happens when someone you think of as just a friend finds another lover and you find there’s a spark of jealousy there? “Not Enough” focuses on this odd kind of love affair that happens every day. “You had a thing for me, but you faltered,” she sings, and “Today, you broke a piece of me, you had to leave me for another.” Smoothly orchestrated with strings, keyboards, and a heartbeat drum beat throughout, it’s Dhana’s voice that connects the threads without being trite or overly dramatic.
“Wanted” moves on with more keyboards and strings, again keeping it slow as Dhana sings of love and loss. “What you wanted / Is gone,” and the person left behind is struggling. “Little pieces of broken glass / Just a memory, time has passed / Tiny puzzle of tears and sorrow / What you gonna do tomorrow…[where]…breathing is a painful thing.” Most people I know have had those moments where love has faded away and yet they’re not ready to let it go. But the chorus here speaks of hope: “Probably better this way / You’ve had enough / Now go and make the change.”
The next song, “Low,” has a bit faster beat as Dhana sings of someone seeking to lose themselves as a friend wonders, “How low / can you go / Love how low / can you go?” No matter how far you run, you can’t run away from yourself. This one has another beat and melody that reminded me more of Taxi Doll’s infectious beats.
And “Feel Right” deals with that tough spot in a relationship when you want to be with someone, “but it just don’t don’t feel right.” It’s that moment when the conflicted heart pulls and pushes and your head has to step in: “My head is straight when I’m far away,” but “when I’m far away I’m still wanting you / And it just don’t feel right.” But when you’re with that person, for a while you can forget things don’t feel right; eventually though, the regrets and doubts pile up.
Also included is an acoustic version of “Not Enough,” which unwinds a bit of the track’s electronic vibe in favor of a stripped-down feel. Dhana’s voice comes through loud and clear and the piano and strings don’t overwhelm her at all. That said, I think I like the version with electronics a bit better with its fuller sound.
I love Taxi Doll, but have to say I was impressed with Dhana’s solo work. The EP takes her voice in different directions, focusing on a darker side of life than the typically upbeat electronica of her band. If you like Taxi Doll, you’ll love hearing Dhana’s solo work with Confessions of Lily Rogue. Still, I’m hoping Taxi Doll will continue to release great music as an ensemble for many years to come, and that we hear new music from them soon!
Dhana – “Not Enough”
For more about Dhana’s music, visit her website at DhanaMusic.com.