Denver-based indie-pop band Dressy Bessy is led by singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom, with guitarist John Hill and drummer Darren Albert. Their nearly 20-year history together as a band includes seven full-length albums, songs in television and movies ("Grey's Anatomy," "The Powerpuff Girls," "But I'm a Cheerleader"), and an appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." "We never broke up," says Ealom on the occasion of the 2016 release of "Kingsized," the band's first new album in seven years. "It was never our intention to drop out, it just sort of happened. We were dealing with life, but we never stopped making music."
Indeed, the album makes it clear that Dressy Bessy is currently making some of their most compelling and accomplished music. Such melodically infectious, lyrically barbed new tunes as "Lady Liberty," "Make Mine Violet" and the anthemic title track are potent examples of the band's uncanny ability to wrap Ealom's personally-charged, pointedly subversive lyrics in sparkling, irresistibly catchy songcraft.
"Kingsized" also draws upon the talents of a wide assortment of friends, admirers, and contemporaries including R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Mike Mills, Pylon frontwoman Vanessa Briscoe Hay, and the Minus 5/The Young Fresh Fellows mastermind Scott McCaughey. Following the departure of original bass player Rob Greene, the album features an assortment of notable guest bassists including Eric Allen of the Apples in Stereo, Jason Garner of the Polyphonic Spree and the Deathray Davies, Mike Giblin of Split Squad, and fabled punk progenitor Andy Shernoff of the Dictators.
"We've had a lot of time to hone in our sound, knowing what we want to sound like and figuring out what we need to do to get that. I'm really excited about the future," says Eaton. "Kingsized" maintains the effervescent pop of the band's seminal releases like "Pink Hearts Yellow Moons," "The California EP," and "Sound Go Round," but also returns a tougher edge to Ealom's lyrics. The new album is consistent with the pursuit of joy and transcendence that's been the band's mission from its early days, and it refuses to pull its punches.