“I hate the trees, and I hate the flowers,” croons Dum Dum Girls’ lead vocalist Dee Dee Penny, like sepia-toned memories of afternoons languidly lazing through the park. Despite the pain present on their cover of Strawberry Switchblade’s “Trees and Flowers”, the sweetness of the Dum Dum Girls’ girl-group nostalgia is both playful and profound.
With every release, the Dum Dum Girls’ sound becomes fuller, which could stem from their studio-enhanced production, or Penny’s decision to include a full band with their lineup. The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner and Richard Gottehrer richly produced the EP, which still reverberates with a particular fuzziness and an array of infectious hooks. Resounding with a poignancy amid ‘60s pop, Penny’s lucid vocals, the centerpiece of previous lulling release Only in Dreams, still materialize as a focal point in the band’s latest release End of Daze.
Tantalizing single “Mine Tonight” sets a contemplative tone for the EP with a confession, the first line “Satan on my lips” evoking a sultry, strained admittance of losing control. “I Got Nothing” furthers the undertones of existentialism that permeate the EP with the work’s poppiest tune, encapsulating the confusion and apathy inherent to having someone slip away and fade.
The lament of “Lord Knows” stuns with the same profundity as a strained memory that’s suddenly unearthed, like discovering an old photograph you thought you’d stashed away or burned many years ago. Late ‘80s pop washes over the EP’s final track “Season in Hell”, the instrumentation surprisingly rooted in sunny surf rock — despite lyrics more akin to a Jesus and Mary Chain tune seeped in the endless rain of Darklands.
Although distant from the translucent bedroom recordings of debut I Will Be, the 18-minute EP marks a pivotal moment for Dum Dum Girls, extending far beyond the initial lo-fi confessions of Dee Dee Penny. Inevitably a dreamer at heart and on the airwaves, Penny muses about an era drawn to a close, like a gauzy curtain, and about how the loveliest days are, ironically, the ones where we most find ourselves really longing after those who have moved us.
Essential Tracks: “Trees and Flowers”, “Mine Tonight”