Close-up: Stephanie Dosen

The upcoming American knows the old one-two: sing a lovely song, crack a silly joke
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The Independent Online

For anyone tired of the over-processed female singers currently doing the rounds, Stephanie Dosen is a breath of fresh air. Beautifully styled by no one except herself, the singer, who grew up on a Wisconsin peacock farm, looks like a grungy blonde fairy, and her suitably ethereal, Cocteau Twins-esque brand of dream-pop is about as far as you can get from the mockney mannerisms of Kate Nash et al. Indeed, Dosen is passionate about standing out from the crowd. "It really bothers me that everyone thinks you have to look a certain way to do music," she says. "It's so tedious."

Most people move to the States to make it in showbiz, but Dosen isn't most people. The singer has been in London for over a year now, and she's settling in nicely. "I've got some kittens and stuff," she tells me. "I like to make cookies, play with my cats and stay at home. But I guess I've chosen a profession in which I'm always on the road."

Since landing in London with just two suitcases in tow, she has been carving out a reputation as a dynamic live performer, as memorable for her banter as she is for her songs. "I don't take myself that seriously," she says. "I have a ridiculous life – standing up there with a guitar and singing. I like to pretend everyone in the audience is my best friend and I get silly with them."

Last summer, Dosen's first album, A Lily for the Spectre, out on British label Bella Union (which is owned – surprise surprise – by two former Cocteau Twins), quietly garnered glowing reviews from the music press. And now her career is gathering momentum: she has just completed a near sell-out tour of the UK, recorded a one-off track with José González and is currently collaborating with Massive Attack on their new album. It's safe to say that her cookie-making career is firmly on hold.

Stephanie Dosen's new single, 'Vinalhaven Harbor', is out now on Bella Union