Weather Balloons is the new EP by Glasgow-based artists Dora Lachaise and Jonni Slater. It combines Jonni’s love for film noir and Cold War novels with Dora’s fascination with UFO conspiracy theories and Nick Cave’s ominous murder ballads.
The project started when the English music producer James Sanger – who worked with Keane and Sugababe Siobhán Donaghy, among others – heard Dora’s music online and invited the duo to come and work with him at his Vibey Studios in France. Using a range of recording techniques, he instilled the songs with unusual analogue sounds that make them hard to place in time. He dared Dora to explore the expressive limits of her voice, from a big, confident sound on Sign on the Door to the slightest whisper on Keep It in the Dark. Jonni got to play many of the wondrous acoustic and analogue instruments James had collected over the years. The duo returned to the UK with three demos and new production ideas, which they developed further into the EP.
Braver Than You
Out on Thursday 1st June 2023, Braver Than You is the lead single from Weather Balloons, and the first song that Jonni and Dora wrote together. Taking their cue from Where The Wild Roses Grow, Nick Cave’s duet with Kylie Minogue, Braver Than You is a duet that could have been a love song, except it doesn’t end well. On a journey across a continent to start a new life, Dora and Jonni harmonise but can’t seem to speak the words that would bring their characters together.
Sign on the Door
Sign on the Door is a Cold War-tinged cat-and-mouse chase across Europe. From the forests of Latvia, via Riga and Tallinn, to the open ground of Dartmoor, it winds up languishing in a cell at Shepton Mallet prison. The first single from the EP, released on 29th March.
The title track Weather Balloons is based on reports of UFO sightings. A song about looking to the sky, eagerly anticipating the day extraterrestrials make contact.
Bluer Skies highlights the cracks in the consumer dream of the 1950s.
Finally, Keep It in the Dark is a love song inspired by the Japanese writer Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s essay, In praise of shadows. Beauty lies in the dimly lit. In patterns of shadows and glistening details. Turn on the light, and it’s gone.
Tracks with airplay on BBC Scotland, Amazing Radio and local and internet radio stations in the UK, Netherlands and US.
“superbly crafted and produced with some dark haunting lyrics and instrumentation […] Dora and Jonni are moving into new higher levels of writing and performing with intricate vocals and instrumentation, this really is top draw material with each song telling a different, rich and imaginative story.” – Jelli Records
“a combination that calms and moves us throughout its length, making us want to hear it again and again” – Os Garotos de Liverpool
“Loving the new record” – Ric Davison, Keynsham Town Community Radio KTCRfm
“The entire EP has an atmospheric feel that is both tranquil and dreamy in its vibe. Every one of the 5 songs on this EP has its undeniable charm that makes for a truly transcendent auditory experience” – Lost in the Manor
“the songs are good, the playing is great and there’s a definite alchemy when they perform together which will appeal to wide audiences.” – Is This Music
Words and Music: Dora Lachaise and Jonni Slater (1-4), Maaike Siegerist and Catherine Rudie (5)
Produced by: Jonni Slater (1 & 4), James Sanger and Jonni Slater (2, 3 & 5)
Recorded at Vibey Studios and 79Wave Studios
Mixed by: Jonni Slater
Mastered by: Nick Cooke
Dora Lachaise: Vocals, acoustic guitar
Jonni Slater: Vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar
Ian Bostic: Drums
Jonni Slater and James Sanger: Omnichord
Photography by Dora Lachaise and Jonni Slater
Released on 8 June 2023