Dressy Bessy – Pink Hearts Yellow Moons

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

An accomplished photographer, Tammy Ealom left an early version of the Minders in 1996 and formed Dressy Bessy, named after a toy doll from the ‘70s. Originally a three piece, the band absorbed John Hill, who was also a member of the Apples In Stereo (and Ealom’s partner). Ealom and Hill (now married) have remained the core of the band over seven albums and more than twenty years.

What I Think of This Album

I am tempted to compare this to soda, because it is sugary, sweet, fizzy, and fun, and once it’s over, you want more of it. But I don’t want to suggest it’s all empty calories. Food metaphors aside, this is a great piece of girl-group inspired indie pop, not surprisingly part of the Elephant 6 collective and also on the Kindercore label. Indeed, guitarist John Hill is a member of both Dressy Bessy and the Apples In Stereo, and main Apple Rob Schneider is on hand to help engineer and mix, and Apples drummer Hilarie Sydney lends backing vocals.

Tammy Ealom’s sing-song vocals dominate the album, girded by fat distortion from Hill and Ealom. Individual touches distinguish each song:  bassist Rob Greene excels on “I Found Out;” the melodica on “Just Like Henry” is whimsical; and “Lookaround” gets by on a martial beat. “Little TV” chugs along with brio (the sound effects are pretty great too), and the way Ealom emphasizes “pretty” on “Jenny Come On” makes it sound like she is mocking the subject of the song, the narrator of the song, the song itself, and the entire genre of indie-pop. I love it.

There is a charming innocence to “If You Should Try to Kiss Her” (well-arranged with keyboard and percussion touches). ”Extra-Ordinary” is one of the weaker songs on here, in terms of quality, but also the most surprisingly rockin’. The worst song is definitely “Big Vacation,” but let’s not dwell on that. “Makeup” could easily be an Apples In Stereo tune, and “You Stand Here” has some very welcome jangle.

The Best Thing About This Album

Ealom’s way with a melody.

Release Date

September, 1999

The Cover Art

My cover is muted pink and blue (and it is not faded – the back of the booklet is the same color), so I am not sure why this image comes up as red and blue. The design is by Ealom.

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