NYC dance producer Doss invites everybody into her upbeat, big-tent pop

New York City producer and songwriter Doss arranges sounds from the past three decades of dance-music history into effervescent pop collages. Doss was friends and collaborators with late hyperpop lodestar Sophie, which partly explains why her work pops up in Spotify’s hyperpop playlist—not everybody considers Doss a hyperpop artist, but her presence there benefits the notoriously slippery genre. As much as I appreciate hyperpop’s creative free-for-all, I wish more artists competing for oxygen in that category had the skill that makes Doss distinctive: drawing joy from melancholy with nonchalant panache. On the excellent 2021 EP 4 New Hit Songs (LuckyMe), Doss rewires trance music’s merciless pulse to make it as soothing as it is enlivening. On the EP’s best track, “Puppy,” a hypnotic drum ’n’ bass loop ties together crosshatching, upbeat synth lines into a dizzying hook whose wistful, romantic feel is crystallized by Doss’s lyrics: she sings about pining for an old relationship with a solemn, dry simplicity that feels both tossed-off and disarmingly intimate. I haven’t been able to shake “Puppy” since I first heard it nearly two years ago—all artists, hyperpop or not, should aspire to leave that kind of an impression.

Doss Ariel Zetina and Sqip open. Sat 1/21, 9 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, $30, 18+

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