When Ontario indie-poppers Dizzy released their debut album 'Baby Teeth' in 2018, it blew me away. No mean feat for a record as inherently understated as that was. Hinged on the flippant nuances of teenage emotions, backdropped by a blanket of icy electronics and optimistic indie-pop, it was a record fraught with the feelings of adolescence, yet executed with an effortlessness that far belied the band’s young years.
Fast forward two years, and the band’s second album, 'The Sun And Her Scorch', picks up where 'Baby Teeth' left off. Almost. Where their debut was driven by the heightened emotions of teenage angst, the follow-up is darker, more introspective, providing an honest insight into the twenty-something anxieties that are felt universally, but yet here feel so personal.
“I wanted to be completely honest about the things nobody ever wants to admit,” explains singer Katie Munshaw “like being jealous of your friends or pushing away the people who love you.” This kind of openness is manifest throughout the record, though much like its predecessor, the agony of such is often offset by the band’s trademark buoyancy.
‘Sunflower’ for instance bristles with a warmth not often seen across Dizzy’s catalogue, something echoed in ‘Roman Candles’, a track that explores the insecurities that comes with pursuing music as a career, though eschews any sense of vulnerability in favour of perfect pop production. Indeed, latest single ‘The Magician’ works much like a microcosm of the album itself. Its narrative a heart-breaking and naively innocent vignette that sees Munshaw want to bring back a friend who has passed away. Ambitious and open, it’s perfect single material; its major chords masking the sadness at its core.
And therein lies both the beauty and the appeal of 'The Sun And Her Scorch', and indeed of Dizzy themselves. Though still young in the scheme of things, their ability to juxtapose stark realities and youthful optimism is nothing short of impressive. And much like beauty of a frozen lake seconds before the ice cracks and swallows you whole, 'The Sun And Her Scorch' is an album that’s as dazzling as it is dark; repeat listens shattering its veneer of beauty and finally giving away its stark fragility. A welcome return.
Words: Dave Beech
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