Catch Dagmar

at Neck of the Woods

(Photo by Collin Buzza)

Dagmar, an all-female duo that formed in Iowa but has since relocated to the Bay Area, uses phrases like “medieval harmonies” and “medieval rock” to describe their music. But as beguiling as these terms are, to non-Music Theory experts, they probably make no sense.

Dagmar (which consists of Gemma Cohen and Miranda Mallard) says they use the word “medieval” when describing their music because they favor non-traditional chords that were more commonly used in the Middle Ages. They also employ elements of polyphony and harmony, which were often found in Gregorian chant and other popular musical styles from that time.

Other than that, though, Dagmar sounds nothing if not contemporary, and the combination of Cohen’s and Mallard’s voices, which differ in timbre and pitch, make for a delightful listen. Their debut album Afterlight is a beautiful, melancholic creation, filled with sparse instrumentation and soul-piercing lyrics. Before they were Dagmar, Cohen and Mallard were a trio called Rock Paper Scissors, until the third member decided to leave the band. It’s a good thing she did, because had she stayed, the two women might never have ventured into autobiographical songwriting and moved to the Bay Area.

Dagmar
At 9:30 p.m., Saturday, March 11, at Neck of the Woods. $10-$15; neckofthewoodssf.com

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