Dirt Dress, “Revelations”

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LA’s Dirt Dress have been around since 2007 making spirited punk rock that’s been compared with bands ranging from X to the Modern Lovers to Wire, to name a few—all the while keeping their original spin.

On their upcoming EP, Revelations, they’ve turned from the loud lo-fi sound and raw vocals of their previous records (like 2012’s Donde La Vida No Vale Nada) and towards a cleaner rock and roll sound. The title track is refreshingly sunny, featuring an anthemic vocal melody and surf-tinged guitar. Sprinkled with layered synth and horn sounds, it evokes late 70s no wave while managing to feel strikingly new. The bright mood of the song contrasts cleverly with the lyrics—pleasant harmonies over a simple, major-key chord progression cut it close to lines like “I’ve cut myself so deep I’ve seen my muscles bleed.” It’s apparent that even with the change in sonic direction, Dirt Dress are very effectively maintaining the lyrical and emotive depth we’ve come to expect from them.

Revelations will be out November 4 on Future Gods Records. Listen to the title track and hear from Dirt Dress below.

What’s the impulse behind the song “Revelations”? It sounds like a bit of a departure from your previous work.

“Revelations” was a song we had written a while ago, but this track and the forthcoming EP definitely represents a shift in our sound and how we make music as a band. For years we were truly defined by our limitations. Not in a bad way, but the way we played was distinctive because our technical limitations (as well as only being a three piece) required us to constitute our own style. Noah and Jose are original members, but Sasami began playing with us late last year, which was quite a change since she comes from a classically trained background and we’re all self-taught. Working together with a couple different musical perspectives has certainly manifested in a more refined sound.

I hear the influence of a lot of 70s and 80s punk/post-punk groups in your work. Who or what do you find yourselves drawing from nowadays?

Since each member of our band comes from such contrasting musical backgrounds, there are a lot of different influences on our music. For example, on our most recent tour our soundtrack consisted of Wire, Magazine, Arthur Russell, St. Vincent, and Francis Poulenc. Depends on who is holding the iPhone.

Who are some contemporary artists we should listen to?

Our absolute favorite band of today is Traps PS. They are the most dramatic and authentic live act out there right now. We’ve also been watching our buddies Froth and a lot of Echo Park bands really growing and developing their sound lately, which is exciting to see. Oh and Sasami did the horns on the recent Avi Buffalo album, you should check that out.

What can we expect from the EP?

We are all about changing, reconstructing, and never being stylistically stagnant. Recording the EP has been an adventure to keep our established sound intact but taken to the next level with very new tones and layers. You can definitely expect “Revelations” to be a departure from our last record and a stepping stone to a lot more music to come.