WATCH: DOLLS – ‘Bubble Bath’

London duo DOLLS’ latest single ‘Bubble Bath’ is as pleasingly frothy as its name suggests. A sugary slice of garage rock, delivered with bucketloads of attitude, it rallies against impossible beauty standards and “toxic nice guys” who feel they are owed a relationship after spending precious time getting to know you as a friend.

With their badass, bubblegum vocals and shout-a-long harmonies, the band, made up of Jade and Bel, turn their anger at these injustices into an empowering, inspiring anthem. Backed by scuzzy guitars, they cry, “we are sisters, mothers, daughters, teachers. Anything. Anything. Anything.” It’s power pop in every sense of the word.

As the band sing “We are either goddesses or whores, beautiful or sluts”, they tackle society’s stupid expectations and contradictions so skilfully – and show everyone that you can have a brilliant time while you do it. Who says you can’t start a revolution on the dance-floor?!

Watch the uplifting, fan-filled, DIY video for ‘Bubble Bath’ now:

‘Bubble Bath’ is taken from DOLLS’ Eggshells EP. It was released as part of the Love Record Store Day event on a beautiful limited edition multi-coloured and etched vinyl LP via iconic soundtrack labels Mondo/Death Waltz, and will be released digitally on 28th August.

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Keira-Anee Photography

FIVE FAVOURITES: Dolls

After sharing their debut EP Pop The Bubble in 2018, garage-rock duo Dolls have been busy writing new material and working with Producer Margo Broom (Hermitage Studio Works) to create more of their energetic guitar tunes. Filled with buoyant riffs, crashing percussion and strong vocals; their new EP, Eggshells, is a retrospective take on “Losing friends, creepy men, the strive for perfectionism, and day-to-day anxiety.”

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Dolls’ vocalist & guitarist Jade Ellins to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her writing techniques. Check out Jade’s choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for Dolls’ track ‘Eggshells’ at the end of this post.

1. PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
I felt like I got into PJ Harvey surprisingly late considering I have loved female-fronted bluesy rock for most of my life. When I first started gigging in London about 8 years ago, I used to get compared to her so I thought “I should really give her a listen2. This was the first PJ album I listened to and it blew my mind. I loved everything about it – her vocal performance, the production, the lyrics – it was all incredible. It really influences my song writing and I especially like the way she plays with dynamics on this album. She manages to make one riff sound interesting for over five minutes with her arrangements, which I feel is one of the hardest things to do. My partner bought me this on vinyl and I honestly find it hard to listen to records all the way through without zoning out but this album keeps my interest the whole time.

2. Deep Purple – Made In Japan
I used to listen to this album on car journeys when I was little all the time. I love Deep Purple, and this live album showcases how brilliant they are live, even if Ritchie Blackmore likes to go off and do his own thing a lot of the time! I love every song on this album but my favourites are ‘Highway Star’, ‘Lazy’ and ‘Space Truckin’. This album has a lot of good memories for me and Ritchie Blackmore is still one of my favourite guitarists. I wouldn’t say I directly use Deep Purple to influence my song writing but I feel like parts of them must come out as I have listened to them so much.

3. Pixies – Doolittle
I actually used to hate the Pixies, and I did see them live when I was 21 and was bored. Then about 4 years later I listened to some songs of Doolittle and it was a light bulb moment (I thought it might happen with The Smiths but I still hate them!) I think my music taste really changed as I wanted to be more experimental with song writing. Pixies have an amazing way of making certain songs that really shouldn’t work sound interesting and engaging. My favourite song off the album is ‘Hey’. When I listen to it I sometimes want to cry because it is so good. Every single musician brings something unique to the band and I feel like every part fits together perfectly. It’s probably why when seeing them live now it isn’t quite the same as they don’t have Kim Deal anymore. I have watched old live videos and she definitely brings the energy and has such a distinctive voice. Raspy and angelic at the same time! I love you Pixies, I’m sorry I doubted you.

4. Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
Is this one of the best live albums/shows of all time? I think so! I sometimes put the show on just so I can run around with them. The song writing is magnificent and I love how in the show they gradually build up the stage, I couldn’t believe it when I first watched it. The only thing I can’t work out is everyone is wearing a similar outfit but the drummer is wearing a bright blue polo shirt, it annoys me slightly but I’ll let it go one day. I love Talking Heads’ use of vocal harmony and much like most of the albums I have put on this list – every instrument has its own essential part. Some bands you can feel that they haven’t been bothered to push themselves to think of a better bass line or guitar part but each instrument and choice made on these Talking Heads songs creates an essential part in a well-oiled and groovy machine.

5. The Kills – Keep On Your Mean Side
A friend at music college introduced me to The Kills and out of the largely male led duos I was listening to at the time. I loved the fact that there were male and female vocal parts. I thought Alison Mosshart was the coolest person ever and such a brilliant performer. I don’t listen to The Kills much anymore, but when I was first starting Dolls they played a big role at influencing my song writing. My favourite song from the album is ‘Fried Your Little Brains’. Much like PJ Harvey, they manage to make one riff throughout a whole song sound brilliant. I think that is largely down to Jamie’s rhythmic guitar playing. I used to watch him a lot to help with guitar playing ideas for Dolls. Out of the big duos at the time (The Black Keys, The White Stripes) Jamie’s guitar playing was my favourite. Not too showy but still unique.

Thanks to Jade for sharing her favourites with us!
Listen to Dolls’ new EP Eggshells on Spotify.

Photo Credit: Keira-Anee Photography

Track Of The Day: DOLLS – ‘Eggshells’

A catchy slice of garage rock that coolly admits “Everything is messed up”, Dolls have shared their latest single ‘Eggshells’. Lifted from their upcoming EP of the same name, the record (released via Mondo/Death Waltz) will be available on limited edition multi-coloured & etched vinyl as part of the Love Record Stores event on 20th June.

After sharing their debut EP Pop The Bubble in 2018, vocalist & guitarist Jade and drummer Bel have been busy writing new material and working with Producer Margo Broom (Hermitage Studio Works) to create more of their energetic guitar tunes. Filled with buoyant riffs, crashing percussion and strong vocals, ‘Eggshells’ is the first offering from the new EP.

Eggshells is about the struggles that we have faced in our 20’s” explains Jade about the band’s new record. “Losing friends, creepy men, the strive for perfectionism and day-to-day anxiety. We have written about what we feel is really important as we get older. Musically, we have evolved with this EP and although the gritty garage rock is still there we’ve broadened our sound with synths, percussion and multiple vocal layers.”

Listen to Dolls’ new single below and follow the band on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Keira-Anee Photography

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: DOLLS – ‘Pink Bones’

Ambiguity, strung-out riffs and a catchy chorus combine to make London duo Dolls‘ latest single ‘Pink Bones’ another grunge-pop gem. The track is taken from their upcoming debut EP Pop The Bubble, set for release on 21st September via Mondo/Death Waltz records.

‘Pink Bones’ was one of the first songs the pair wrote together after meeting through mutual friends and Facebook messages. Speaking about the track, drummer Bel explains: “I believe this song is like one of those abstract paintings, it can mean many different things to whoever listens to it; and we like keeping it that way. Otherwise it ruins how far your imagination can go!”

Dolls have been gigging around London relentlessly for the last few years, and are more than ready to release their Pop The Bubble EP, which they worked on with producer Jim Sclavunos (The Horrors, The Wytches, Du Blonde). The EP will be released on limited edition multi-coloured and etched vinyl, and will be available to buy at Dolls’ Rough Trade in-store gig on Monday 24th September.

Listen to ‘Pink Bones’ below and follow DOLLS on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Hall.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut