Dilly Dally - 'I Feel Free'
The voice from grunge-heaven enraptures once more
You can hide a lot with a voice. For example, Nick Cave could sing about any old shit over some dodgy fifties ragtime ditty and it will still feel like the most important poetic work since Keats. Dilly Dally's Katie Monks possesses the type of voice that appears once in a generation. I love comparing things to other things and she's a nightmare for the obsessive compulsive part of my brain. She literally sounds like nothing on earth. But old habits die hard- imagine Janis Joplin had grown up on a diet of Kurt Cobain and broken glass. A voice like this can act as an instrument in its own right, cracking and convulsing over a soundtrack it brings a whole new layer to. it can also mask some mediocrities in a piece of music. "I Feel Free" is a perfect exorcise for this unique set of lungs, whilst also cleverly masking the inevitable faults of a band ever evolving and improving.
There's a maturer edge to "I Feel Free" that moves on from their debut "Sore", more restrained and less unhinged in its emotions. But that subtler approach for Monks' voice to wash over you- making her tones more evocative than violent. However, despite its restraint- it offers an expansive, almost stadium rock feel that feels somewhat obvious. There are phenomenal moments throughout the song- highlights include the chiming Interpol-esque riff post chorus, the cacophony of noise over the outro and Monks' voice literally tearing itself apart through sheer angst. But these moments stand out in a sea of monotony. There is something incredibly special here and as a melodic piece of work it stands up against any modern grunge. There is no doubt in this world that second album will contain moments like these galore. I just hope that they just appear more consistently.
Words by James Kitchen