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Dorothy Martin’s life changed forever when she was forced to face death on her tour bus some three years ago. After her guitar technician had taken an overdose, and the light began to lift up and out from his body, Dorothy instinctively began praying for his survival. While he may have temporarily died, the technician was astonishingly, miraculously restored back to life as Dorothy and her crew formed a prayer circle near his body. It was this moment that seemed to bring Dorothy to life too. She was gifted a rebirth with a divine intervention that caused a radical and spiritual awakening in the singer, the result of which can be heard on Gifts From The Holy Ghost, Dorothy’s third studio album as front woman for the pseudonymous, blues-rock band Dorothy.
Gifts From The Holy Ghost is the album she’s always wanted, and has perhaps been destined to make. Born from a sense of divine urgency, it is Dorothy’s most bombastic and gloriously, victorious rock and roll work yet. Each song built on triumph—the unshackling of chains, the slaying of demons with a sword of light—the album is a healing and remedial experience, made to unify listeners and point them towards a life full of purpose. It is Dorothy’s greatest gift yet. “This album had to get made, I felt like I had a mission,” she said.
While the band’s first, irreverently named album ROCKISDEAD, was made on a combination of whiskey and heartbreak—inspiring Rolling Stone to name them one of rock’s most exciting new acts, and Jay-Z to sign them to his label Roc Nation—Gifts was built on recovery, health, and holiness, in a way that reverses the clichéd ‘good girl gone bad narrative’.
With the combined powers of Keith Wallen, Jason Hook, Scott Stevens, Phil X, Trevor Lukather, Joel Hamilton and the legendary ear of Chris Lord Alge, Gifts From The Holy Ghost is made from a musical palette which seems to encompass each of the musician’s influences, as well as many of the essential sounds of rock music’s history—from swampy blues to ‘90s alternative —in a way that makes the case for rock and roll itself. Not only is the genre alive, but it’s more invigorated than ever.
“I think this album is going to speak to a lot of people, it’s meant to be healing, unifying, eye-opening, ear-opening, heart-opening and celebratory,” Dorothy said, adding: “I wanted to make the realest album I could make, and I went in with the question does this make me feel alive? Does it make me feel free? If a song didn’t give me chills or make my heart soar, then it didn’t make the cut.”
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Dorothy has always been an instinctual writer and artist. Throughout her life, she’s been asking the big questions, both in and outside her art: ‘What’s the meaning of life? Why are we here? How are we here?’ When she couldn’t find the answers to those questions, she’d numb out the empty uncertainty with drugs and alcohol. She was eventually admitted to rehab and a new chapter was opened in her spiritual journey. Now, with angels whispering in her ear and the spirit moving her steps, she’s found her answers. “I’m just here to impart inspiring messages to people while having fun and rocking out!”
You can hear Dorothy’s powerful resilience across the album, particularly on “Big Guns”, which finds the singer at her boldest; sauntering over slide guitars as she steps into combat. Anthems like “Rest In Peace” bring a sweeping cinematic scope to the album, whereas “Black Sheep”, a rallying cry for unity, explodes with layered gang vocals: “we are blood, we are family,” Dorothy breaks curses, going toe-to-toe with the blistering guitar riffs.
The album’s lyrics are a perfect balance of specificity and generality, so that the listener can attach their own darknesses and triumphs to the songs, while still getting a sense of Dorothy’s own. “We are all one human family.” she declares.
Does that mean Dorothy has overcome all of her own adversities? “It’s a journey and it’s about progress not perfection,” she responds. “I’ve had a lot of deep revelations about my life, stuff I hadn’t been able to cope with until now. Now I’m learning new tools.” With Gifts From The Holy Ghost, Dorothy identifies her purpose as an artist. She conquers darkness with light, numbness with feeling, disharmony with unity—all while delivering one of this year’s most fun rock & roll record.