Ché Aimee Dorval

Ché Aimee Dorval

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN
SoloAlternativeFolk

With gorgeous alt-pop melodies and heart-felt lyrics, this spirited musician recalls the simple elegance of iconic vocalists like Fiona Apple and Chan Marshall. Whether playing solo or with her band 'Casualties of Cool', you're in for a dynamic and captivating performance that is utterly unforgettable.

Biography

A vein of hard-won wisdom runs through the music of Che Aimee Dorval, giving her work an uncommon depth and passion. There’s an unflinching honesty to her songwriting that can be entrancing, disturbing and liberating – sometime simultaneously. Framing her words with swirling, evocative melodies, Che beckons listeners in and holds them close. Drawing upon her own experiences, she offers the hope of renewal and freedom in her songs.

As part of Casualties of Cool (her collaboration with the renowned Devin Townsend), Che has earned a growing international following. In December 2017, she will resume her solo career with Between the Walls and the Window, a haunting, finely-wrought album that features her most revealing songs to date.

Che’s latest work wraps her evocative vocals in distorted guitars and churning rhythms, bringing out the raw immediacy of her lyrics. “The new album marks a moment in my life where I know who I am both personally and musically,” she says. “Lyrics are important to me and I’ve found that instead of only talking about lost love and feelings of helplessness, I’ve started to comment on social issues that are important to me. These songs have something to say.”

Hard work, self-reflection and undeniable talent have helped Che to find her artistic voice. Growing up in Vancouver, BC, she took inspiration from artists as diverse as Nick Drake, Cocteau Twins, Alanis Morissette and Cat Power. She honed her skills played local club dates and busked around Europe before winning David Foster’s British Columbia Star Search competition in 2007. This led to an appearance at Foster’s yearly charity gala and the chance to write and record in L.A. with hitmakers Greg Wells (Rufus Wainright, Katy Perry) and Kara DioGuardi (Pink, Kelly Clarkson).

Rather than go the mainstream pop route, Che returned to Canada and released her first solo effort, Underachiever (2008). A short Eastern Canadian tour led to her settling in Toronto, where she became part of the local arts scene. Refreshed, she returned to her native Vancouver and caught the attention of legendary Rolling Stones producer/manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who offered her a contract and asked her to sing on his Rolling Stones Songbook Volume 2 album. 

By this time, Che had recorded with Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, DTP Project) for his album Ki, laying the groundwork for their teaming up as Casualties of Cool. “We stayed in touch and eventually he asked me to write a late-night dark country record with him,” she recalls. “It was the most positive recording experience I ever had and it inspired me to start writing my own songs again.”

Casualties of Cool released their eponymous debut album in 2014, followed up by a highly successful UK tour that included a performance at London’s Union Chapel. In its review of the concert, Metal Hammer wrote that “Che was born with the ability to melt hearts with a single syllable.” Che and Devin reassembled two years later for an appearance at Ramblin’ Man Fair in Kent and a music video/interview for the YouTube series Dunlap Sessions.

Working with Devin inspired Che to relaunch her solo career. She supported the 2015 release of her EP Volume One with a 12-date UK tour opening for folk artist Kim Churchill. It proved to be a demanding but ultimately rewarding experience: “I had never gone through something like that before…I was completely alone and was insecure about playing my own songs. But I find that the most jarring experiences are the best chances to grow and learn. That tour made me stronger and more confident about what I can do.”

This confidence carried into the writing and recording of Between the Walls and the Window, her second full-length project. As producer, Che tapped studio veteran Shawn F. Cole (Yukon Blonde, You Say Party! We Say Die!, The Painted Birds), known for his feel for biting pop/rock textures and moody atmospherics. On these sessions, Che’s sensitive, insinuating guitar touch is augmented by such A-list players as longtime Neko Case guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Darren Parris and drummer Daniel Ruiz. The result is a shifting, multi-layered sound that brings out the full scope and impact of Che’s compositions.

Meanwhile, Che has been co-writing with in-demand producer Bob Rock (Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, The Tragically Hip, Michael Buble) on songs for an as-yet unnamed project. Like Casualties of Cool and her solo work, her music with Rock promises to be bold, edgy and artfully done.

The unfolding career of Che Aimee Dorval has been a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she’s collaborated with a formidable list of major talents and found her own identity as an artist. With the release of her new album this December, Che has made good on her early promise in ways even she couldn’t have expected.

Lyrics

Ambush

Written By: Ché Aimee

This is how i get when my mind starts turning
All the cars outside sound a lot like planes crashing
Or a city burning, Or the wind blowing my house down

As a child i'd pray for the noise to stop
As i lay in bed hearing the planes atop
Was it in my head
was it in my head
was it in my head
Or an ambush?

Ya, ya

lalala

I am passing time, counting down the minutes
'til you're finished work or whatever you call it
I just can't be sure, i just can't be sure
I just can't be sure where you say you are

I admit i can be a bit paranoid
I've been known to panic at the drop of a dime
Turning molehills into landslides,
Turning rhetoric to good advice

Ya, ya

Lalala

I admit i can be a bit paranoid
I've been known to panic at the drop of a dime
Turning molehills into landslides,
Turning rhetoric to good advice

Ya, ya

Needs Fixing

Written By: Ché Aimee

I heard you, still

there's so much left to do

this porch light needs fixing

and your just the right height to

see it through

we've still got so much fixing

Don't you leave now, now in the middle

What, what will become of the table

Oh our table, oh it jiggles,

it jiggles while I'm waiting for you

while I'm sitting here, in the evening

with your cold breakfast

Don't you leave now, now in the middle

And if you do

these arms won't be here waiting

no arms wide open

quickly, quickly they're fading

they're tired and red, and i put them to bed

they were used used used and you

you saw to me, you were the best,

you saw to me, you were the best

you seemed to be like one of those kinds

Oh but i'll see it through, while I'm seeing you

leave now, now in the middle

Getting Lighter

Written By: Ché Aimee

It's definitely getting a little bit brighter in my sitting room

the temperature is rising, we take off our gloves our scarves

we head out the back door it can't come to soon

You're getting lighter, you fade into a blank sheet

your a memory i did not want to keep

let the sun take you from me

A season apart and the rain washed away most of my day to day routine

the flowers have bloomed and they matured to adults and they fell off the tree

But you're getting lighter, you fade into a blank sheet

you're a memory i did not want to keep

let the sun take you from me

you weren't meant to stand this heat

save me from this memory

save me from this memory

you weren't meant to stand this heat

but you're getting lighter, you fade into a blank sheet

your a memory i did not want to keep

let the sun take you from me


Underachiever

Written By: Ché Aimee


One Short, three too many and counting
Cap the last one before it's too late
Subsequently sabotage the body
Consume much more than one girl can take

I am a pro underachiever
I am a grounded faulty wire
I am misspent afternoon
I am my misspent youth

I've had years, i've worked it to a science
Pennies on my dresser, stigma on my name
Keys on the counter, one foot out the door
All the same

Wolves in my shelter
Setting sun over the unknown
If i am to walk forever
Let there be a sholder

I am a pro underachiever
I am a grounded faulty wire
I am misspent afternoon
I am my misspent youth

Say

Written By: Ché Aimee

want an open road

kick up gravel in the clear

want to cup the wind

feel it rustle through my hair

Want to know the way

but ignore the beaten path

when i hear those words

coming from your lips at last

Say, Say, Say

it's the reason why i came here

Say Say Say

So i picked up sticks

and i drew the longest straw

and i won the prize

of never hearing anything at all

Well i fell down down down

And i dirtied up my dress

I scraped my knees

But thats the gamble thats the risk

You wouldn't say say say

no you wouldn't tell a lie

say say say

there’s no good reason why

it cut like a knife

and no wheat field is ever the same

the finger thats points

looks a lot like it needed the blame

but to know is to give up the chase

to live is to fall, and to love is to run in the race

So why don't you say say say

why don't you say say say

or run in the race

Dinosaur Song

Written By: Ché Aimee

i went to see the dinosaurs today
the sky was dark the sea was grey
i thought of running into you
and what i would be forced to do

the silence in me is deafening

i pondered the angry sea
threatening to over take me
and if i would submit
submerge my lonely self in it

the silence in me is deafening

your presence in the back of my mind
is like a ticking bomb timed
perfectly synchronized to blow
just when i think that I'm alright

the silence in me is deafening

oh, can these ruins be identified
could it be the child in me has died
from her ashes another will arise
with extra armor and the foresight
to listen closely, listen close

our paths cross a million times a day
in my head i know what to say
and your times way past do
that someone should lay into you
and it's me

the silence in me is deafening

So i step up onto the plate
and give as good as i did take
and thats the way our game is played
you'll see

oh, can these ruins be identified
could it be the child in me has died
from her ashes another will arise
with extra armor and the foresight
to listen closely, listen close

listen closely
listen closely

Good Wife

Written By: Ché Aimee

When will i see you again, spare those soft eyes
the mean the world to me
spare them, give them, for all the world to see

sing me softly to sleep
sing me the moon, sing me the hills
sing me a house where we both can live
with spare room waiting for the life we give

you're worth living a long life
you're worth being a good wife
i would love to love you
i would love to love you so when

i miss your lips against mine
i weight of your heart beat against my spine
the way you would make everything alright
so when

Style of Living

Written By: Ché Aimee

Got a bullet proof vest on for nights like this
this scar on my wrist is a lesson learned fast
learned to walk real slow oh i watch where i go
and i know how to fight and i know when to hide

But i have got nothing to say about this style of living
it seems there is nothing left to do but go on existing

I have certainly missed, i know when to call quits
oh i walk the lines and i read the signs
when i hear the call of the broken fall
i know what it's like, ya i know what its like

but i have got nothing to say about this stye of living
it seems there is nothing left to do but go on existing

go on persisting, go on
go on resisting go on

well i have got nothing to say about this style of living
it seems there is nothing left to do but go n existing
well i have got nothing to say
it seems life goes better this way

The Fading Kind

Written By: Ché Aimee


The wait is rough, my turn is up
i feed your love, it's not enough
were in a rut, i can't quite stop
can't give it up, it's hold it's hold
it's hold is strong, it won't be long
before you're gone, i know my time
i know your kind of love, this love
my love was blind, the killing kind

the fading kind, and with it i will fade
the fading kind, and with it i will fade away
the fading kind and with it i will fade
the fading kid and with it i will fade away

what day, what month
which way is up, i bleed your love
I'm not enough, I'm not, I'm not enough
I'm holding on, i bleed your love,
I'm in a rut i can't go on,
I'm thin, I'm air, I'm barely here
just hanging on, hanging on
to any place i once belonged,
i one belonged holding on
I’m holding on I'm long gone

the fading kind, and with it i will fade
the fading kind, and with it i will fade away
the fading kind and with it i will fade
the fading kid and with it i will fade away

If the story of us becomes a warning a cautionary tale
well it's more than enough for it to be worth my while
well it's more than enough, it's more than enough

Do You Ever

Written By: Ché Aimee Dorval

If you ever find yourself believing
all those things you made up
to save yourself the trouble
of having to explain just
the mess you're in

We are in the same boat
just struggling to remain afloat
on this pile we're in

Do you ever go just a little too far
do you ever fight to escape who you are
Do you ever try to get by on your smile
do you ever wake in a shroud of denial
once in a while
once in a while

Whats the net step
the first is admitting you may have
a problem and saying it out loud
any one will do
you need to get used to the concept
your truths a bit askew
but seeing is believing
and you can't see the truth

Do you ever go just a little too far
do you ever fight to escape who you are
Do you ever try to get by on your smile
do you ever wake in a shroud of denial
once in a while
once in a while

Thats not it
he said as he looked to the ground
while wearing that unimpressed frown
i must have been thinking out loud
and theirs that familiar taste
of my foot in my mouth

Back Again

Written By: Ché Aimee Dorval

Get up the next morning i fake
a headache and i leave before the sun can reinstate
i move like water in your hands
this mess you cannot figure out or work into your plans

And maybe i'll get back to you again
maybe with some follow through by then
a week or two, a month a year
don't hold your breath
i can't be sure the place or when
i'm not sure of the space i'm in

i move in circles round the edge
i speak when i've got my two cents
and flirt with all your friends
by evening time i'm surely spend
come morning time the walk of shame
home to my lonely bed

And maybe i'll get back to you again
maybe with some follow through by then
a week or two, a month a year
don't hold your breath
i can't be sure the place or when
i'm not sure of the space i'm in
And maybe i'll get back to you again
maybe with some follow through by then
a week or two, a month a year
don't hold your breath
i can't be sure the place or when
i'm not sure of the space i'm in

We Go

Written By: Ché Aimee Dorval

we did our best to learn the language
we circled back to retrieve what we missed
we headed out west
to the pacific
we won't come back
til we have mastered this

we drove in turns rotated left to right
short straw was set to drive through the night
we let the length of the highway in
with little to say
we got by okay
with little to do
our hands played with the wind

we go
we go

Losing my sleep

Written By: Ché Aimee Dorval

Have i wasted all my time
trying to make some sense of mine
losing my sleep
losing my sleep

am i dormant in my prime
putting off the enterprise
brush off the feat, brush off the feat

Am i wasted, antiquated
am i vacant, still, unused
i need placement, destination,
i need pushing to produce

picking up where we let off
young girl stewing in her sloth
going to seed, going to seed

Am i wasted, antiquated
am i vacant, still, unused
i need placement, destination,
i need pushing to produce

have i wasted all my time
trying to mimic the sublime
watching them bleed
losing my sleep
watching them bleed
losing my sleep

The Throws

Written By: Ché Aimee Dorval

Half asleep, you’re far away
In your dreams your fears at bay
This mortal ache remains
In the crystalline awake

Right out of hand, it goes
Right out of the park, it throws
You a curveball, don’t you know
Got you running round all of the bases

Trying to cover up your disgrace
Got you running all over the place
This reckless choice was made
In the throes of your mistakes

Right out of hand, it goes
Right out of the park, it throws
you a curveball, and don’t you know
Ain’t none of it fair dear

That’s enough, had one too many
Can’t keep up with all the lies your telling
And told with that straight face
You fool the fools
And run the place
You can lie with the best of em
as you lie to the rest of em
Ain’t none of it played the way
You thought the game was played dear

Trying to cover up your disgrace
Got you running all over the place
This reckless choice was made
In the throes of your mistakes

Right out of hand it goes
Right out of the park, it throws
you a curveball, and don’t you know
Ain’t none of it fair dear

Trying to cover up your disgrace
Got you running all over the place
This reckless choice was made
In the throes of your mistakes

Right out of the left it comes
Right out of the park, undone
With a curveball, and don’t you know
Ain’t none of it fair dear

Lights Out

Written By: Ché Aimee Dorval

I'm not seen here anymore
if you wanna talk slide a note under my door
seclusions led me to believe
i'm not who i was mean't to be

and the lights go out
i sit here in the dark
make believe is all i do
and when i'm through
the lights go out

Momma told me to prepare
said, never repress yourself because you're scared
i held onto her advice
set out for a better life

And the lights go out
i sit here in the dark
make believe is all i do
and when i'm through the lights go out

it's not over
my life's not spent yet
so much time to make a start
just don't forget that
make it through
look ahead of you
to a better life
a better life

but oh, the lights go out
i sit here in the dark
make believe is all i do
and when i'm through
the lights go out

Discography

Volume One (2015 EP) - Produced by David Meszaros 

Underachiever (2009 debut album) - Produced by Mike Rogerson 

Lights out (2005 EP) - produced by Ryan Hauschild

Set List

Ché Aimee Dorval's Solo Set List

1. Low 3.50
2. Place to Be 4.00
3. Holding In 3:15
4. Bones 3:45
5. The Throws 3:20
6. Dinosaur song 4:08
7. Back Again 3:23
8. Buried 4:20
9.Fading kind 4:38
10. Flight 3:15
13. Loki 2:45

This set or variations of it can be 30 - 50 min long.