Music

Dude York's 'Falling' Is a Candid, Pop-Fueled Ode to Falling in Love

Publicity photo via Bandcamp

Despite being compared to bands from the '90s, Dude York prove they can carry the indie torch of Generation X, but with their own unique and updated sound.

Falling
Dude York

Hardly Art

26 July 2019

In a bleak time when there's a catastrophe seemingly looming around every corner, the buoyant melodies of a band like Dude York are a refreshing diversion. The fourth release by the Seattle-based trio is a carefree ode to romance, aptly titled Falling.

Falling is the band's second album released under the Hardly Art label. It's also the first that includes the vocals of Claire England (bass) as equally as those of her bandmate, Peter Richards (guitar) with England singing seven of the 13 songs. In a recent press release, England stated, "I grew up listening to all this pop-punk and alt-rock that was mostly male-fronted, but I want to fill that hole I saw by recreating it now for myself."

While Dude York doesn't bear the heavy sound of their Seattle-based grunge predecessors, they evoke 1990s guitar-driven indie bands like Superchunk and more recently, Metric and the Killers. Their guitar-dense melodies are welcome in a time when pop music is often laminated with dance beats and vocoders.

The album was recorded in ten days, but the resulting 13 songs are polished, not processed. England's voice conjures the earnestness of Liz Phair's vocals and occasionally the pluck of Donita Sparks'. Peter Richards adds to the mix with ardent choruses and sporadic shrieking guitar solos. Together, England and Richards are a vibrant duo that compliments each other, both vocally and lyrically. It should be emphasized, however, that Dude York is a trio. Drummer, Andrew Hall regulates the heartbeat of the band and keeps things tight.

You won't pretentiousness or opacity on Falling. The members aren't afraid to musically wear their hearts on their sleeves. The tracks divulge teenage angst without apology. "I feel like a lot of the songs that were reference points consciously or unconsciously for this record dealt with everything very much in black and white, and that really resonates with you when you're 14,15,16, 17..." Andrew Hall said recently in an interview with stereoboard.com.

The lyrics are straightforward and conversational, focusing on the various stages of falling in love. The lyrics sound like a dialogue you might have with a friend on the phone about a budding relationship. On "Unexpected", England sings: "If I meet someone who seems worth saving me, we'll slow it down. We'll call it dating, but I'm not gonna settle 'til I'm sure." On the title track, England sings about the giddy first stages of romance that include "smiling like an idiot all day" and liking "all the same shit".

However, like the broken cake on the cover of the album suggests, what goes up must eventually come down. The album not only explores the joys of falling love but also examines the foibles and letdowns. On "Making Sense", England sings: "Don't fall fast. Don't fall hard. Don't fall at all." And on "Box", Richard sings: "So you're alone, and it hurts like a broken bone. Now on your own, there's no one left to hide from behind your phone." However, even when the songs are about heartbreak, there's still something bright in the music.

Despite being compared to bands from the '90s, Dude York reflects the current times with references to things like dating in the age of texting and watching The Bachelorette. They are a band of Millennials who prove they can carry the indie torch of Generation X, but with their own unique and updated sound.

Falling is an effervescent record that may feel nostalgic to some and in-the-moment for others. Either way, the album jumps out of the speakers, exuding youth and an upbeat spirit—something needed in the world right now.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.