Dum Dum Girls - Only in Dreams
Record Label: Sub Pop
Release Date: September 26th, 2011
A lot can happen in a year. Since Dum Dum Girls first album release I Will Be in March 2010 they have grown up a whole lot. Originally, the band suffered severely from stage fright; lead singer Dee Dee, at just twenty-five, got her first taste of the difficulty that is touring while married; and sadly her mother lost her long battle against cancer. Throw into the mix the sudden relevance of and interest in your music, and a year can pretty quickly pass you by. Despite all this unregulated mayhem, this record details the unexpected discovery of musical confidence, and it is pretty thrilling to hear on Dum Dum Girls sophomore effort Only in Dreams.
As an all girl alternative indie-pop band, Dum Dum Girls have generally had one focus in music and that is on pretty, youthful emotion. They have tended not to care too much about aesthetic development, but on this album, they take a break from that sole focus. The emotion is still there of course, and the prettiness is still there too, but it is now a lot more precise. Track “Always Looking” opens the album with a continuation of the cutesy vibe that has become synonymous with the band, and this time, with some seriously pristine guitar work too. The best song on the album “Bedroom Eyes” is a jingle that is equal parts infectious and dreamy. “I feel I’ll never sleep again/I need your bedroom eyes”.
This collection of songs, it can be said, does not waste disc space but perhaps just gets done what really needs to be done. There are some drawbacks of course with the clean mixing process revealing some simplicity behind the lyrical drive, but this has always been the case with Dum Dum Girls. The lyrics are darker though, and the clearer mix also highlights the enhanced tightness that exists between the artists. Background vocals are now shared by all of the four band members. The longest song they have ever created appears on the second half of the album in the form of “Coming Down”, and this track demonstrates that they are now able to break away from the three-minutes-long formula. Interestingly, with this record, Dum Dum Girls may just have become their genres leading sweet hearts. The Smiths re-revival is still on.