Dora Jar: “The Billie Eilish shows were so big – but I could still feel the crowd’s energy”

The rising alt-pop star discusses working on her stellar EP 'Comfortably In Pain', supporting Billie Eilish, and working on new music

Dora Jar’s music has always drilled down into connectivity. On 2021’s ‘Lagoon‘, she sings as a lonely mermaid waiting for someone to come and crack open her “crustacean heart”, and on ‘It’s Random’, she wants to know “where everyone is going when they walk around” – who are they, where are they going, and why aren’t they talking to me?

Her shows with Billie Eilish earlier this year was her latest attempt to work out the ties that bind us. The US artist supported Eilish at Madison Square Garden in New York, and won over new fans and cemented the existing: but at her biggest gigs ever, how did she feel about the audience being further away from the stage as ever?

“No matter how far away physically you are from a person, you can feel their energy. I could feel someone way back over there,’ she told NME, pointing to the imaginary bleachers. “It’s like this hyper-awareness. You know when you’re in a city and you just feel a lot of energy around you, and then when you’re in the countryside and there’s not a lot of people around you, there’s a quieter and empty feeling. But when everyone is in a high density volume just to listen to music, it’s such a good feeling. No matter how big it was – and it was so big – if I just looked into the darkness, I knew that someone was receiving it.”


And yet, some people at Dora’s own shows aren’t heeding her attempts. Earlier this year, Dora said “industry people who talk thru the whole gig” and those who “come to chat on the balcony u can leave” [sic]. Speaking to NME at The Great Escape festival in Brighton, she reiterates that message: “If people are talking at a show it’s just stupid. It’s just so lame, just don’t go to a show if you’re going to talk – it’s so much fun when people are dancing and you can dance with them… because that’s the whole point!”

Watch the full interview with Dora Jar at The Great Escape above