Galway-based Dott‘s sophomore record Heart Swell lives up to its name: from start to finish it will make your garage-pop loving heart palpitate with glee. Described as “early-60s-meets-early-90s indie rock” by Brooklyn Vegan, the band’s new album (released via Grave Face Records) is a shimmering blur of optimism and adrenaline.
The gloriously upbeat single ‘Bleached Blonde’ opens the record, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for girls 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) or at an official surf camp, 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 a guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar, and the accompanying video features members from Galway Pro Choice, Galway Parents for Choice, and Galway Roller Derby.
No apologies and no excuses sound carefree and constructive on ‘Not Sorry’, whilst the restless bass lines and guitar riffs on ‘Floating Arrows’ will keep your feet twitching and your heads bopping. ‘Swim’ paints an enviable picture of losing yourself by the seaside, and Anna’s clear vocals are as bright as the warm sun she sings of here.
The eponymous ‘Heart Swell’ is a wonderful ode to finding love; an aural head-rush that will fill your heart with satisfaction. It flows perfectly in to the gentle sounding ‘Self-Help’ which shimmers with sensitivity. “I try to live my life without forgetting anyone” sings Anna, and if she keeps writing songs like this, there’s no danger of that happening to Dott.
‘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 often subject too on ‘You Don’t Have To’. The age of independence and ambition is reminisced about on ’18’, which fades effortlessly in to penultimate track ‘Do Ya?”. The beautiful ‘Wedding Song’ closes the record on a romantically 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 still searching for your soundtrack to Summer 2018, invest in Dott’s second album Heart Swell now. Download it here.
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Photo Credit: Alison MW