DREAM BITCHES Ride Succes of Coke-and-Spiriters

“Cute and catchy, the Dream Bitches weave folk-style harmonies with simple acoustic instrumentation. They breathe fresh air into the riot grrrl scene with their clever approach that doesnt involve heavy guitars and screaming. Instead they provide a dreamy cloak over the smart, punky lyrics. Without listening too closely, the girls could be singing about walking down the beach with balloons or their favorite cat with their at-first innocent flair. But just as their name would encourage us to look closer, we would discover it isn’t all kittens and sunny surf.” – Left Off The Dial

Coke-and-Spiriters, the second album from New York’s Dream Bitches, is a combustive culmination of the band’s five years making music together. Packed with snarling pop anthems and hyper-literate acoustic ballads, this concise collection captures the Bitches at their most vibrant and volatile. Yoko Kikuchi and Ann Zakaluk, friends and collaborators since their New York City tween years, began the group as a duo in 2003, each fresh out of art school. By the time their first album, Sanfransisters, was released by Olive Juice Music in early 2005, Yoko and Ann had recruited a backing band that would become an integral part of their sound and style. A playful folk-pop affair, Sanfransisters boasted jangly guitars, catchy choruses, and wry lyrics in the wordy tradition of anti-folkies Kimya Dawson (K) and Jeffrey Lewis (Rough Trade).

Dream Bitches’ sophomore release finds the now five-piece band sporting songs with bigger hooks and biting, schizophrenic subject matter. Where Sanfransisters celebrated friendship, the relationships chronicled on Coke-and-Spiriters are beyond dysfunctional; lyricist Kikuchi’s narrators come out swinging on songs like “Bad Luck Bill” (MP3) and “Maniacal Mechanic,” and even sweet couplets like “You’re as perfect as I want it / You’re as pretty as they come” are spat out like death threats. Another highlight of Coke-and-Spiriters is Dream Bitches’ charming cover of Belle and Sebastian’s “Me and The Major,” (MP3) now available for download. Despite the misanthropic lyrics, the music is far from introverted. Dream Bitches’ sound has expanded tremendously since their last record – it’s bigger, brighter, and bolder than before, a kind of brainy power pop that evokes forebears like The Breeders and contemporaries like Tegan & Sara. Kikuchi and Zakaluk’s vocal melodies stagger and intertwine, and their intricate harmonies make every chorus soar.

Coke-and-Spiriters was recorded by Mark Ospovat at Emandee Studios (CocoRosie, Wooden Wand) in Brooklyn, NY, and produced by Casey Holford (Cheese on Bread, Daouets). The record is out now on New York’s Recommended If You Like Records and the band will play select dates throughout the United States soon.

IN THE PRESS

“At once cutesy and clever, girly and rebellious, the Dream Bitches excel at crafting songs that are almost as oxymoronic as their name. The songs on Sanfransisters are bubbly and familiar-sounding, but underneath the melodic, dreamy exterior you’ll find lyrics that are caustically biting and as bitchy as the band’s moniker would have you believe… Sung fiercely, with standard riot grrl attitude, yet the fact that the ladies deliver them over jangly acoustic chords rather than aggressive electric riffs sets the Dream Bitches apart from their girly punk counterparts.” – Jessica Gentile, Splendidezine.com

“With subject matter ranging from long distance love to Halloween costumes, the songs on Sanfransisters are touching, clever and likely to induce bedroom dancing… a perfect punk rock campfire singalong.” – Andrea Benvenuto, girlpunk.net

“[Dream Bitches are] relentless… The words are fast and smart. The harmonies are ancient. You will wonder where you heard the melodies before (you haven’t). You wax nostalgically about an age of riot grrrl pop anthems that never really existed, and your idealization of the early 90s assumes flesh in Yoko Kikuchi and Ann Zakaluk.” – Dan Fishback, Off-Stage Fright Productions

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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