Never be early to a party, is what people say. And that's why I don't have any shame in admitting that I was tardy to acknowledging the slaytion of electro-pop duo Dumblonde.
For those not in the know, Dumblonde formed from the ashes of one of the greatest girl bands of recent years, Danity Kane. Whereas eyes (mine included) were firmly fixed on the solo material of the group's avant-garde member Dawn Richard, the duo of Shannon Bex and Aubrey O'Day slipped under the radar with their 2015 self-titled LP.
With an upbeat sound, feather-light vocals and more hooks than a Peter Pan convention, a cursory listen would have a lazy mug writing this project off as the musical personification of their namesake: a dumb blonde. But making great pop is no easy feat, and it's only with a somewhat clinical, detached ear that the skill, depth and heart running through the project is revealed.
You wanna know if they're for you? The LP's first track, White Lightening, should function as a litmus test. Easy on the ear and immediately edifying, it embodies many of the albums strengths.
For those wanting more, check out the house-influenced (and personal favourite) You Got Me; the Prince-y Waiting For You; and Eyes On The Horizon, where the electro-pop dial is turned to max.
There are slower, mellower cuts to be found. Just none of you snoozers expect the tempo to crawl at any point. For instance, Remember Me is a breezy love song with an island sound and a chorus not to unlike something Rihanna would sing.
Edgier in sound is Yellow Canary. With a pulsing 808 and dripping in trap swagger, its lyrics hint to the pair's turbulent time in Danity Kane.
For those wanting a more traditional slow song, Takeaway is the closest thing the album has to a "real" ballad. Steeped in '80s nostalgia, the sparse, cavernous verses are supplemented with breathy vocals and talk of broken relationships and recovering hearts. Me being dead inside, find it hard to relate. But it may speak to those of you going through something.
With Aubrey currently in the Celebrity Big Brother house and this project not really taking off (shame on us), I feared that we'd heard the last of Dumblonde. However, Wiki has given me hope that a new LP is coming this year! Will it share a similar sound to this, only the release will tell. Doesn't stop me being giddy at the thought of more, though!
Whatever the case, I'm happy to have discovered this little gem of an album. It joins Britney's Blackout as one of the best electro-pop albums of all time.