Share new single, “Atonal Poem”
New album, Mandatory Enjoyment out 22nd October
on Trouble in Mind
Los Angeles band Dummy refuses to slow down. After releasing two cassette EP’s in 2020 (on Popwig and Born Yesterday respectively), Dummy’s debut full-length album arrives on 22nd October via Chicago’s Trouble in Mind Records.
Employing pummeling guitars and celestial ambiance within the same breath, the band folds a myriad of reference points into their drone-pop style. Influence from ’60s melodicism and ’90s UK noise pop can be found woven in with inspiration from spiritual jazz, Japanese new age, and Italian minimalism.
Ahead of the album’s release, watch the propulsive video for Dummy’s newest single, “Atonal Poem” featured below.
Nostalgic chimes commence the track’s proceedings, this off-kilter passage brings in the percussion with these bright hits. That captivating passage plays extra high notes and suddenly you embrace this gentle harmonic swaying and gentle resonance into the release. The vibe hits you immediately, you embrace every aspect of this atmospherical creation. As the journey develops, dual-harmonies enter the ambiance and leave this affectionate mark.
Just over 2 minutes 29 seconds and this experimental tone joins the formidable structure, adding this futuristic feel to the ensemble. The choice of the tone manipulates the ambiance and dynamically shifts the entire track. As the audience finds themselves truly hypnotized by the melodic track, when the raw scratchy guitar takes center stage with the intimate vocal lyrics, Dummy brings in that renowned energy they charge their entire vision with.
An alluring creation with a lasting impression, Dummy delivers this mighty soundscape with countless hooks and this rich, addictive quality. The cathartic crescendo leads to a short lyrical journey that laces the entire track with this essential intensity.
Dummy are days away from releasing a record they can deem a masterpiece, and rightfully so.
Alex from Dummy says of the single: “Atonal Poem” is the sound of a rock band obsessed with new age music. We were listening to a lot of very peaceful music played on malleted instruments. It’s kind of like, wouldn’t it be funny to try to write a song like this? Why not break the rules? Why not challenge the expectations, especially within yourself? We wanted to create something uninhibited and untethered to convention. We had no idea where it would take us, but this track was the result. In the mythology of the record, this song represents the visitor’s journey home, far away from the atrophy and decay of life on Earth.
Dummy dodges the brooding, dark, dramatic tropes of contemporary “artistic” music often found in punk, experimental, and electronic, instead insisting on joyous and euphoric sonic palettes. They refuse to be artistically stagnant, continuously shifting their approach to writing across 12 tracks.
Shaped by performances around Los Angeles in 2019, songs like “Daffodils” and “Fissured Ceramics” feature relentless driving energy and ample psychedelic noise. Elsewhere, Dummy counterbalances the aggression with meditative synthscapes focused on sound design and studio experimentation, like on the motorik “X-Static Blanket”. Finally, centerpiece “H.V.A.C.” and the album’s final track, “Atonal Poem”, seek to synthesize these two poles, offering multi-part journeys through uncharted sonic territory.
In contrast to blissed-out instrumentation, Dummy’s sardonic lyricism examines “the burden of modern life, consumerism, environmental collapse, alienation, and other anxieties born out of living in this absurd moment in history”. Interior design, marine pollution, the psychology of commercial architecture, and nuclear testing are all featured subjects. Dummy’s restless creativity keeps them moving ever-forward, continuously challenging themselves and pushing their sound into exciting and exhilarating places. This is – as the album title suggests – “Mandatory Enjoyment”.
RIYL: Silver Apples, Laraaji, Velvet Underground, Stereolab, Cluster, Antena, My Bloody Valentine, Haruomi Hosono, Carl Sagan, Yo La Tengo, Finis Africae, Midori Takada
Recorded at Home by Dummy & at Studio 22 by Joo-joo Ashworth (Automatic, Gum Country, Froth)
02. Fissured Ceramics
03. Final Weapon
04. Punk Product #4
05. Cloud Pleaser
07. Tapestry Distortion
08. Unremarkable Wilderness
10. X-Static Blanket
11. Aluminum In Retrograde
12. Atonal Poem