Premiere: Meet DOLLY ZOOM, who make nostalgia-stricken pop with Rabbit Hole
After a captivating pair of singles over the last twelve months, the Brisbane four-piece come together to merge the worlds of synth pop on their new one.
There's no secret that we – and everyone else, generally speaking – have a soft-spot for nostalgia, especially when it comes to music. It's a special thing; something that's able to pluck you out of your current world and put you in another you (often) look fondly upon. It provides a chance to escape everything going on in your life – which at the moment, is bound to be a lot – and move on to something you've always held close to your heart – festival soundtracks, holiday playlists, even just the songs you used to dance around to like nobody's watching (songs that today, would probably be thrown to the dogs in terms of how good they are, or really, or how bad they are).
Brisbane-based four-piece DOLLY ZOOM seemingly understand the power of nostalgia in music, and by the sounds of it, they've learnt how to grapple it and use it to create the core of the dancing synth-pop today – one that really holds this same, reminiscent power that we just talked about. Their debut single – last year's Easy For You – opened soft and smooth; an enchanting, indulgent display of funk-paced electro-pop that feels underpinned to that mid-2000s/early-2010s era of indie-electronica, and the rough musical synthetics that come with it.
Their second single I Think You'd Know By Now kept that continuing – albeit at a more upbeat pace – but their third single Rabbit Hole, premiering on Pilerats today ahead of its official release this Thursday, is really something special. It's rich with nods to 80s synth-pop and crafty indie throwbacks tied together with the sheen and charm of a band on the cusp of something brilliant; storming percussion and hazy vocals mixing amongst glitzy synth that feels like a Midnight Juggernauts re-imagining – except brought forward to the future, of course, and warped with a distinctly unique, DOLLY ZOOM-branded twist.
It really goes to highlight the genre-fleeting sound the group hope to present with their work; a descent into taking a leap of faith and the often-nervousness associated with that brought to life through dancing synth and rich guitar that storms between the worlds of synth-pop, indie, disco, funk, dream-pop and beyond. Throw a charged guitar solo towards the end there, and you really have everything – no bad quite encapsulates a modern take of a distinct era with such class and versatility as DOLLY ZOOM.
It's really something special, and with everyone looking for a place to escape right now, DOLLY ZOOM's new one might just do the trick – even if it only for four-minutes or so.
Take a dive into the track below as it premieres on Pilerats ahead of its release this Thursday, and underneath that, introduce yourself to the band – they might just become your next favourite thing.
Tell us about yourself?
Hello! We’re Katherine, Ed, Lachlan and Dave! We are four good mates from Brisbane who came together when we realised our 9-5ers in health weren't enough any more, and we wanted to start making some cool shit together. Other important members of the band include Espen and Jem-Jem, our two (non-instrumentalist) dogs who live with us in the band house :)
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
We really bounce between a few genres; synth-pop, psych rock, dream-pop and all the pretty stuff between and around those styles. Think: 80s synths, 90s bass, punchy drums with tight fills, and wide mixes. I’d say a common theme in our writing so far has been a sense of connectedness; feeling both in and out of touch with yourself and the world. We write simple lyrics, like something taken out of someone’s diary.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
So far, we have been afforded the luxury of being able to rehearse songs and play them live, well before any recording has occurred. I think that’s a similar process for most bands in their beginnings - we get to really learn the ins-and-outs of the song as it grows and evolves, and through this process we turn them from ideas into demos. We have recorded everything at Bedlam Studios in Brisbane, with Brock Weston (Bugs), who is a legend, and who also produced and mixed the tracks. Tyson Ruth (Truth Studios) has mastered all of our tracks.
Can you tell us about your new single, Rabbit Hole?
Rabbit Hole belongs on commercial radio in the Blade Runner or Stranger Things universes. We don’t usually have an ‘idea’ of what sort of song we want to write prior to starting, but with Rabbit Hole, we set out aiming to write an 'alternate universe' pop song, and after we got the opening synth melody down, the rest of the arrangement built up around it. It’s one of our most energetic songs - it’s fun af to play live, and finishes hard - so it became the natural choice for a set closer.
Lyrically, it’s about giving in to ‘leap of faith’ moments in life, and following your instincts.
What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you?
We’re glad you asked! After Rabbit Hole, we are releasing 2 more songs from our debut EP Homeworld before Christmas. We had originally planned a trip down to Sydney and Melbourne to launch the EP, but that’s no longer possible thanks to 2020. Instead, we have something dandy planned for our fans, but we don’t want to give anything away so that is all we will say about that!
What do you want people to take away from the project?
Since the inception of DOLLY ZOOM, we have been fascinated by the idea of changing perspectives. So when listening to Homeworld, we want people to be able to connect with it’s solitude, but at the same time, feel in touch with who and what is around them.
Where can we find more of your music?
Local radio around Australia, Spotify, Triple J Unearthed, YouTube, Apple music, Deezer, YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, any and all streaming services - pick your pipe, any pipe!