Premiere: Dollys Covers EP

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Photo by Kelsey Ayres

Excited to premiere the new Dollys’ covers EP out tomorrow on Little Game Records. Even better, all of the sales are being donated to Planned Parenthood (an important and threatened women’s health organization). That’s just the sort of incredible band Dollys are, and if you haven’t taken to their music you need to get on that. Start here. Natalie Newbold is somehow one of my favorite vocalists AND one of my favorite drummers.

On this EP, the Jersey band cover ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ by Michael Jackson, ‘Somebody Made For Me’ by Emitt Rhodes, ‘Cecilia’ by Simon & Garfunkel , ‘Tourette’s’ by Nirvana, and ‘Ghostbusters’ by Ray Parker Jr. All of the tracks were recorded on a 4-track tape machine (mixed live with limited overdubs) which gives them a very organic feel.

These covers definitely add something original to each track and they will hold me over until their new material is released (one of our most anticipated for 2017). Man, that ‘Ghostbusters’ cover. Take a listen to the tracks below with a word from the band about why they picked each of the songs. You can preorder the EP on tape here.

we chose “the way you make me feel” because it wasn’t a very _guitar_ song and so we knew we’d have to really figure out something different to make it work live as a trio. it’s also one of the few hits that mj wrote himself, which we think is super neat. it’s perfect pop: simple and catchy. i’m pretty sure there’s only four chords in the whole song, but it just works.

as far as i can remember, emitt rhodes’s “somebody made for me” was the first cover we decided to try. we’re all big fans of emitt’s deceptively complex style of chordplay. it’s a very cool thing to hear a pop song utilize crunchy, dissonant chords without being overwhelming or super dramatic. we didn’t stray too far from the original on this one… the arrangement was just too good.

a while back, we felt like we needed to add a cover to our live set. SO one night, the three of us sat down, brainstormed, and finally thought to do simon & garfunkel’s “cecilia.” the original track is great because it’s just chords, harmonies, and the dopest percussion ever. we felt we had tons of room to tweak it and try to put a different spin on it.

our buddy frank at sniffling indie kids asked us to contribute to an “in utero” compilation, so we whipped up the gnarliest instrumental surf rock version of nirvana’s “Tourette’s” that we could muster. nirvana (and specifically kurt cobain’s songwriting) influence on me when i was younger is immeasurable. for a loooong time, nirvana was the only band that i cared about at all. i’m glad that we sort of found a way to honor his contributions to music, as hokey as that sounds.

“ghostbusters” is just a goofy thing we play sometimes when we’re warming up or waiting for some technical difficulty to work itself out. it just has a great groove. it feels right. i don’t know, honestly, this track is probably the best thing we’ve ever done.

The release show for the EP is tomorrow (1/18) in NJ with an awesome lineup. For all you non-Jersey folk, Dollys are headed on tour next month? GO SEE THEM.


Artwork by Alex Brown

Here’s a bit from the band about the recording process:

One of the most fun things about doing this covers EP is how we recorded it. We captured the whole thing onto 4 track tape, meaning there are literally only 4 tracks to work with. Doing it this way has some obvious limitations but it’s something we’ve been fantasizing about doing for a while (probably because it’s how a bunch of our favorite artists from the mid 60’s recorded!)

The basic gist is that we’d set up as a band and then record all of the basic instruments onto track one, and whatever we get both performance, and balance-wise has to be completely committed to. Tim was in the control room actually mixing the basic track to tape as we recorded it. Then we would usually perform all of the overdubs at the same time. For example, on ‘Somebody Made for Me’, Natalie played shaker and tambourine, Erik played piano, ad Jeff played Hammond B3. Last, we would usually use the remaining two tracks for some combination of a lead vocal, doubles or harmonies.

The whole process really forced us to think about things differently and was incredibly fun to go through. On an interesting side note, our Tourettes cover ended up being only 1 track. Lisa played the Farfisa organ so we didn’t have to do any overdubs!



– Henderson