Dora Jar – Comfortably in Pain EP: Review

Charisma. Charm. Fun. Emotionally driven. Simple words, sure, but accurate when describing the music of Dora Jar. Every step she takes has been a positive push forward, slowly refining her sound and becoming one of pop-rock’s hidden gems. On her new EP, Comfortably In Pain, Dora continues to hone in the rock sensibilities, blending fun and poignant lyricism that feeds into her quirky demeanor. Upon listening to “Polly” off last year’s Digital Meadow, she drove home these sensibilities with her spectacular songwriting and charming melodies. These qualities kept returning as Comfortably In Pain continued, and I repeat, but I can say without a doubt, there was a lot of enjoyment listening to this project. 

Dora Jar’s witty and vibrant songwriting has been a cornerstone of her charm. With lines like: “​​In the ring, let the red flag billow/Below me is a city, you can call me Godzilla/Cross the road little chicken, wanna stomp upon a bully/’Cause I’m invincible,” on “Polly” it’s easy to find that relativity between her and the listener by picking fantastical elements to replace the norm. She continues to bring it within many songs on Comfortably In Pain, like “Scab Song,” which sees Dora expanding the creative world inside her mind. In the song’s third verse, she sings: “You have green and blue veins/Loopin’ like spaghetti through your body’s traffic lanes/Sometimes I like to pretеnd that your veins have no end/And I can drivе through them,” continuing and developing the style. 

It isn’t just the fluidity of her songwriting that brings anything Dora Jar touches to life. It’s the captivating energy with her melodies, like in “Tiger Face;” she can fluctuate tempos to reflect an emotional core within each section – the verses see her keeping it real with her desires, her likes, and her feelings – while the chorus delivers a playful melody replicating a balance in her relationship. Within these lines, she is signaling her desire to see this person’s fierce side, as it brings some extra spice. The song is complemented by rustic acoustic strings before immersing itself within the confines of the production as it layers with the percussion – drums and piano keys. It is similarly the case with “It’s Random,” where it switches midway, like a random shift that beautifully contrasts the somber acoustic opener.

The production continues to shine, albeit some minimalism in instrumentations. There is an elegant balance between the twinkling guitar strings and rock progression. Dora Jar knows what she wants and tries to encapsulate those sentiments, like the pop-ballad “Lagoon.” It shows that she isn’t always gravitating toward the electronic trend in music; Dora is refining 2000s pop-rock and alt-rock and making it her own by twisting these various elements in the mortar and creating a great blend. It’s a testament to the producers for seeing her vision and adapting their structured approach for something a little more chaotic and fun like she does with “Scab Song” –  a literal song about a scab, with the resounding depth of opposite connotations that distinguish a sense of beauty speaks to the greatness of her craft.

Comfortably In Pain is a whimsical journey through the mind of Dora Jar as she continues to raise her ceiling. She is bringing energy beneath the charm and charisma. But most importantly, she knows herself and it reflects with the music she creates. Each new project is another step on this journey to grow bigger than she is now.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

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