A shimmering blend of optimism and adrenaline, Galway band Dott‘s sophomore record Heart Swell lives up to its name. Released via Grave Face Records, from start to finish the album make your garage-pop loving heart palpitate with glee.
Upbeat single ‘Bleached Blonde’ opens the record, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for those who love sunshine, surfing and intensely singable choruses. If you’ve ever tried to surf on an ironing board (watch the video below, you’ll understand), you’ll sympathise with guitarist & vocalist Anna’s struggle when it comes to catching waves.
Activism and garage-pop collide in anthemic style on second track ‘Like A Girl’. The band released the song ahead of Ireland’s vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment on May 25th, but it rings out with truer intensity now the “yes” result has been confirmed. The song features an impressive guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar too.
The unapologetic, carefree ‘Not Sorry’ transitions gently into the restless bass lines and riffs on ‘Floating Arrows’, whic will keep your feet twitching and heads bopping. ‘Swim’ paints an enviable picture of losing yourself by the seaside, with Anna’s clear vocals as bright as the sun she sings of here. The eponymous ‘Heart Swell’ is a wonderful ode to finding love, a genuinely satisfying aural head-rush. It flows into the gentle sounding ‘Self-Help’ which shimmers with sensitivity. “I try to live my life without forgetting anyone,” sings Anna, a poignant and admirable sentiment.
‘How Do I Feel?’ is another joyous offering of buoyant guitar and feel-good lyrics, before listeners are urged to reject the “double standards” that girls are subject too on ‘You Don’t Have To’. The age of independence and ambition is reminisced about on ’18’, which fades effortlessly into penultimate track ‘Do Ya?”. The beautiful ‘Wedding Song’ closes the record on a reassuring note. Anna’s lyrics systematically strip away the traditions and expectations that come with wedding ceremonies, revealing the only thing that truly matters when you consider spending the rest of your life with someone: Love.
If you’re searching for the soundtrack to Summer 2018, invest in Dott’s second album Heart Swell now. Download it here.
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Photo Credit: Alison MW