One of the most challenging lessons to learn in life is how to accept being different. While the feat may seem insurmountable at times, it is an essential lesson to achieve, because even though society can seem homogeneous at times, each and every one of us has unique traits that separate us from the milieu. For the Israeli-born artist DOV, his vision of a life as a queer liberal musician brought him from his homeland to the United States and his tumultuous journey has culminated in the debut EP entitled Be Your Lover. The five-track effort finds the producer and multi-instrumentalist grappling with and ultimately embracing his originality both through his touching lyrics and captivatingly unusual sense of production.
The EP begins in a place of pain with the title track as DOV sings about an unfulfilled love over beds of atmospheric synth pads. His impassioned emotions are palpable as he croons, “I will never be your lover / turn into the tranquil sea / so when I go, no trace will find me.” The understated lyrics are open to interpretation and could easily relate to a missed opportunity in a romantic relationship. In a broader sense, though, one could extrapolate the message to include the desire for self-acceptance, because without that, we all could drift away into a tranquil sea.
DOV collaborated with fellow Israeli-born Brooklyn resident TESHA on Be Your Lover and the while the vocalist graced the title track with textural singing, she features more prominently in the more propulsive track “Save.” The song finds the two artists breaking the bounds of societal notions and expectations. TESHA repeats a verse in which she describes the unstoppable force of someone who is ready to take the reigns of their own life and embrace their otherness with the words, “There’s a war in my head / there’s a reason why I don’t wanna feel this / this is why I like.” The increasingly aggressive instrumentals from DOV and TESHA’s rallying cry lyrics make “Save” a fascinating and empowering track.
After the EP’s only instrumental offering, the contemplative “Insta,” comes the pulsing “Sell It To Me Harshly,” in which TESHA and DOV lean into the idea of embracing the harsh reality of life instead of floating along living in a world of fantasy. Closing out the set is “Lost in the Night,” a brooding production that finds DOV reflecting on his complicated time as a gay soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces.
With help from TESHA’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, DOV crafts songs on Be Your Lover that are undoubtedly resonant, even as they sound unlike anything else out there. With refined production skills, a penchant for simple yet poignant melodies, and unique perspective on life and identity, DOV proves on the EP that being different should not only be accepted, but it should be celebrated, as it is the differences among us that truly define our human nature.