Best of What's Next: Dum Dum Girls
Hometown: Los Angeles
Album: I Will Be
Band Members: Dee Dee (vocals, guitar), Bambi (bass), Jules (guitar, vocals), Frankie Rose (drums, vocals)
For Fans Of: Vivian Girls, The Raveonettes, The Angels
When Dee Dee (née Kristin Gundred) started posting songs to her MySpace page a couple years ago under the moniker Dum Dum Girls, she was just looking to share recordings with a few close friends and her husband Brandon Welchez, lead singer for the San Diego, Calif-based band Crocodiles. “My husband was touring a lot with his band, so I’d put a song up on MySpace and then send him an email like, ‘Hey, I put a song up. Check it out.’ Then, occasionally, I’d tell another friend to check it out,” says Dee Dee, who previously performed as the singer/drummer of San Diego trio Grand Ole Party under her real name. “Eventually, I decided to add a couple friends. It started out very modest with no real intention.”
Despite those unassuming beginnings, the songs—which filtered ‘60s girl-group harmonies and ’90s shoegaze through a lo-fi wall of sound—found their way to the ears of Blank Dogs’ Mike Sniper (who released the Yours Alone EP on his young Captured Tracks label) and Hozac Records head Todd Novak (who released the band’s “Longhair” 7-inch). Even then, when Dum Dum Girls signed with Sub Pop last summer—and when it was announced that Dee Dee would produce her project’s debut LP with Richard Gotteher, who co-wrote “My Boyfriend’s Back” and has produced bands like Go-Gos and Blondie—it seemed something of a leap.
But as befits its Cartesian title, Dum Dum Girls’ debut I Will Be (out today) is a full realization of Dee Dee’s early sonic sketches. With Gotteher reworking her home recordings, the album is a beguiling pairing of classic production and modern sensibility, with tracks like “Jail La La” and “Blank Girl” (and a cover of Sonny & Cher’s “Baby Don’t Go”) draped in vintage reverb. Dee Dee has recruited similarly-surnameless friends Bambi, Jules and Frankie Rose (formerly of Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts) to round out the band for its upcoming live shows; they’ll spend most of April and May on the road in the U.S. and Europe. And while interest in the band will probably only increase once the album is released, the once semi-anonymous artist wants to be judged solely by her music. “I just don’t want to be anything,” Dee Dee says, “other than what the songs and the show put out there.”