Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat of Philadelphia-based dream-pop duo the Dove & the Wolf have been close friends for about 14 years and bandmates for four. The chemistry that bound them together for the previous decade was vital when they decided to put this gorgeous, emotive project together; for the bulk of its existence, the band has been entirely independent, completely reliant on themselves and each other.
All of that changed recently when they received a call from Fat Possum Records, the label expressing a desire to re-release the I Don’t Know What to Feel EP, which had previously been self-released by the ladies.
“We did everything ourselves,” Hayat says. “We recorded and released everything independently. Managed to find tours to go on. The EP was out and we were working on new stuff, new songs. Our manager’s idea was just to send what was already out to labels, and Fat Possum was really interested right away and they wanted to re-release it.”
Having been so self-contained for so long, Gil and Hayat pick and choose their working relationships very carefully. “We met our manager in the fall of last year,” says Gil. “Until then, we were very careful about working with anyone who would not be the best fit. That’s why we were alone for so long, which I think was great for us. But then when we met her it really clicked and we decided that it is time to get some help from someone else, because it is really hard to do everything yourself.”
“It’s great to have a team that supports you.”
The arrangement is working out quite nicely, and the duo really can’t lose, so far as the Fat Possum deal goes. The EP was already out, and the label simply wants to give it a fresh release and a hefty push. There are no artistic details to iron out.
“It’s already been out in the world a little bit, and it can only get better with the help of a label,” Hayat reasons. “The deal is simply a license on the EP for now. We’re working on new material.”
Both Hayat and Gil say that, after working alone, they’ve learned not to have any expectations of anyone, and to only rely on themselves. That said, they’re delighted to have the backing of experienced people who trust their vision.
“Maybe it’s because they found us when we had done a lot already so they trust our vision,” Gil says. “It’s great to have a team that supports you and isn’t trying to make you go in a direction that isn’t yours.”
The Dove & the Wolf are now in the studio working on a new record, and will follow the recordings with live touring.
The duo’s debut EP I Don’t Know What to Feel was re-released on March 24.