Rock hasn't been kind to music that is unabashedly girly; at best, all-female bands are sequestered into the vapid made-up genre of "girl bands" (PLEASE read this Pitchfork article!), at worst, they are fetishized and endure all sorts of vile harassment (a fact made all too clear the last time I saw Austra - some bro pushed me out of the way and declared loudly to his buddy, "OH MAN, SHE'S SO FUCKING HOT!"). For lack of better words, The Dum Dum Girls seem to not give a fuck! This is band that owns their femininity, takes active joy in conventional girliness, and doesn't apologize for it. And perhaps most importantly, their music does not suffer for it.
There's a very tangible sense of longing that pervades their new album Only In Dreams; the feeling of grasping at something forever out of reach, that proverbial dangling carrot feeling. In DeeDee's case, this album was written while she dealt with the death of her mother (who, incidentally, is the woman on the cover of I Will Be) and her heartache is both wrenching and endearing. The titular "Wasted Away" actually made me misty as I listened to the lyrics that spoke so honestly of loss: "I'd rather waste away than see you only in dreams." As someone who's luckily never experienced the death of someone close, I can't relate at all to DeeDee's words but she makes me feel them as strongly as she does. "In My Head" features her desperately just wanting to be adored, something even Ian Brown couldn't even accomplish, though that universal human desire is buried deep in all of us. As in life, there's no eventual resolution to DeeDee's sense of yearning but this album leaves you smiling from its bubblegum pop sensibilities nonetheless.
Anyway, the vinyl edition of this album brings all of the music's moods into distinctly beautiful physicality. Ghosts, roses, and lace are a hint of the album's loss themes. But it's the pink marbled vinyl itself that struck me immediately, I mean, look at how gorgeous it is! It's easily the most beautiful piece of vinyl in my collection and I will treasure it every time it gets spun on my record player.