It’s not for nothing that the opening line of Dark for Dark’s email to Grayowl bemoaned June-uary out east in the band’s hometown of Halifax. The trio (a quartet once drummer Matthew Gallant joined up to record with producer and engineer Jay Crocker—he of Joyfultalk, Cousins and the Jon Mckiel band) are full of summer notes on their latest, All Dressed.
While their bio describes the album as “coded with uncertainties,” it’s the hot, summery touch of sixties girl rock that shine through the first notes of songwriter Rebecca Zolkower’s chirpy chords. Layering on top of each other’s voices, Zolkower and Melanie Stone turn “Orchard” into a relaxing romp, masking the oncoming winter in the lyrics with punchy “Awoo’s” and swaying “Ooo’s” that all but turn Zolkower’s foreboding into a celebration.
Marching “Moon Full Moon” beats along the chords, a trudging epic running merely two and a half minutes long. Full of endurance, the words “One by one” linger long after the song strikes its last, a dreamy ear-worm that fades almost too quickly.
Meanwhile, “Blue Morning” rings much truer to the doubts flooding Zolkower’s lyrics, the band a chorus as the song delves deep into what ifs and might-have-beens. “Owls” upticks quickly (as it should) as it skips along, blissfully light despite pleading to “Set me free.”
“Unseasonal” eases into a more modern folk sound, notes melting together as gently sung lyrics beseech listeners to hold on. “The Roof” closes the album down on a bittersweet country note, fusing the band’s love for the sixties with a newer flavour that rollicks along to a cooing end.
It may have been an impending (and never ending) winter that inspired Zolkower when she began to write the songs for All Dressed, but the album’s release is perfectly timed for a summer start.
Top Track: “Moon Full Moon”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)