Published Sep 10, 2018To reach Heaven, Dilly Dally's sophomore record, the Toronto-based four-piece first had to make it back from hell. The monstrous success of their debut, Sore, in 2015 earned them global recognition and a fiercely loyal fanbase, but it also stripped each member bare. After taking the time to reassess and reassemble, Dilly Dally return with Heaven, a mature and self-affirming collection that bursts with moments of unexpected optimism amidst familiarly heavy and warped vehemence.
While Sore was a ferocious and sludgy monster, Heaven feels tamer — a sturdy shoulder to lean on rather than mosh your pent-up rage to. Amidst hazy guitar riffs, melodic bass tones, and the frequent swap of Katie Monks' vocals from her distinctively raspy howl to more subdued singing, Heaven manifests as its own beast entirely.
Opening track "I Feel Free" builds slowly with controlled force, as Monks' voice builds from a husky whisper to a bright croon before exploding at its cathartic pinnacle. "Doom" is a battle cry; gloomy and menacing instrumentation gives way to glimmering messages of hope as Monks sneers that "what's inside you is sacred." The theme of reassuring mantras that reinforce self-love continues throughout "Believe," a slow-burner that is led by Monks' softly sung reminder to "believe in yourself 'cause that's all the matters."
Elsewhere on the record, "Marijuana" acknowledges the value of self-reliance in a world that can easily make you feel alienated, while "Bad Biology" weaves together a simple love story that refuses to let itself be defined by gender roles, and toys with the fantasy of transcending your "old shell."
Taking a reprieve from the public eye granted each member the time to hone in on themselves, exploring new sides of their artistry while sharpening the signature, jagged edges. In darkness, Dilly Dally found their way back to one another and created light. Heaven is the sound of coming into your own. (Dine Alone)