Dressy Bessy – Little Music

Dressy Bessy
Little Music

Is it catchy pop ditties you love? In that case, oh man, is this album perfect for you. Dressy Bessy brings some of the sweetest pop hooks around, resulting in some of the most irresistible songs you’ve ever heard. The Denver band’s previous effort, Sound Go Round, was adored by critics and college radio alike, so here we have an attempt to keep that momentum flowing. With a new full-length tentatively slated for release this summer or fall, the band had to do something to tide over fans, and Little Music is it. The album gathers up material spanning Dressy Bessy’s life from 1998 to today, including cuts from demos, seven-inches, EPs, compilations, and import-only releases.
The fuzzy twin guitars, delicious melodies, and jangling tambourines create a sound that is both vintage and modern, like what would happen if the Go-Go’s decided to jam with the Kinks, or if Sleater-Kinney was caught rocking out with the Beach Boys. Meanwhile, the adorable bubblegum vocals of Tammy Ealom, singing songs about boys and buttercups, are utterly irresistible. This is a clever brand of pop-rock, deeply rooted in the radio sound of the 60s, but not in a way that simply rehashes something that has already been done. So many bands are trying to establish themselves as “revivalists” these days, but there is so much that really just doesn’t need to be heard again. Dressy Bessy is refreshing though, because the band takes something familiar and turns it into something new and refreshing. The production is a bit rough, which suits the style quite nicely, and yet there is a distinctly modern feel that keeps this relevant. In the end, it is the sort of sound that you can’t help but smile along to.
For those who may be familiar with Dressy Bessy, here is a quick rundown of the songs included on Little Music. “Live to Tell All” and “Sunny, I’m Never Wrong” were previously only available in 7″ form, while “Ultra Vivid Color,” “Fuzzy,” and “Said You Would” were available together as both a 7″ or an EP, the EP version of which included “2 My Question” and “Princess,” also heard here. “Lipstick” was previously only available on a Japanese import version of the band’s album Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, while “Gloria Days,” “Instead,” and “All the Right Reasons” were compilation contributions, the first of which was only available on vinyl. Finally, you have “Tidy,” a previously unreleased demo version recorded in the spring of 2002.
Unlike what usually happens when a band collects a bunch of old material for a release such as this, Little Music is perfect not only for those who can already count themselves as Dressy Bessy fans but also for those who are simply seeking an introduction.