Today’s Song: Fever Dolls’ Epic “All The Best Debts” Is a Confessional Underdog Embrace

Fever Dolls 2020
“All the Best Debts” finds NYC’s Fever Dolls embracing the struggle, leaning into that everyday fight for survival with a fresh burst of homegrown heartland energy.
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Stream: “All The Best Debts” – Fever Dolls

Well I’m the fastest kid of the last-in crop, they say I came up fighting and I still ain’t stopped.

It feels like we’ve been touting Fever Dolls as one of New York’s best-kept secrets for years, so it’s key to remind ourselves that this darling five-piece only arrived in our fair city a year ago – and that they’ve only just released their fifth single. So why does it feel like Fever Dolls have been in our lives for so much longer? Maybe its the passion of their eclectic genre-bending folk/rock/you-name-it ubiquity; their music is a special, spicy flavor that knows no bounds, as has been exhibited by such songs as “Gennifer Flowers,” “Adeline,” and “The Distance.” Perhaps its the homegrown charm they give to every song; they pack their music full with distinct character, making each release feel like a well-read letter from a familiar friend.

Or perhaps we’ve just been listening to them a lot lately, and can’t get enough of their stellar sound.

All the Best Debts - Fever Dolls

All the Best Debts – Fever Dolls

So you stumbled and you fell in the dirt
And now you drink more
than you make it to work

And say you’d pay a visit
to see them but it’d make it worse
Cause you’re panicked by the passage of time
And you’ll be damned if I’m the best you’ll find
Well I guess I made a mess of your plans
and made a mess of mine

But I’ve been blind, I’ve been blind

Released June 23rd, “All the Best Debts” arrives as Fever Dolls’ fifth single since they debuted just 1.5 years ago, following up 2019’s standalone single “The Distance” as the band’s first offering of 2020. Written with the idea of a ‘show opener’ in mind, this expansive six-minute outpouring brings us closer to the band than ever before: Bright and full of inspiring energy, it finds Fever Dolls’ founders Evan Allis and Renn Mulloy telling a bit of their story, which is really all our stories: It’s a tale of leaving home and coming to a new city, of watching friends grow up and grow apart, and of life’s toll. Undergirding everything is an enduring strength – a permeating perseverance; that innate momentum pushing all of us forward and giving us the power to soldier on, no matter what obstacles lie in the way.

Diving in and Branching Out with Fever Dolls


“All the Best Debts” finds Fever Dolls embracing the struggle, leaning into that everyday fight for survival.

Yet it’s not just a song of making it through from the beginning to the end of the day; it’s a song of doing that, and loving every second of it – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. Radiant, rich, and harmony-laden, the intrepid seven-minute song ebbs and flows with a life of its own, setting the mood while giving space for the band and their instruments to breath, build, and exhibit the very best of their artistry.

The fastest kid of the last-in crop
They say I came up fighting and I still ain’t stopped.
I take the whiskey to rise and the sugar to go,
I got all the best debts that a woman could owe
So when you tell them that you saw me tell them I took the long way out
Tell them Brooklyn, you burned me up just to turn me down

“Around the time I had written enough material to fill a set, I was feeling like we needed a show opener — something that built in intensity, could be played by a band walking onstage one at a time, and crescendo’d into a big moment with hard stops and Motown-style talk-singing at the end, etc,” Fever Dolls’ Evan Allis tells Atwood Magazine. “Something fun and slightly ridiculous that would make people leaving the previous band’s set want to stay and watch ours. Some people like giving themselves assignments like this, but in my case it gave me writer’s block. I was spending a lot of time working on this ‘opener song’, getting close but not quite nailing it, and one night I just started playing a simplified version of its main riff, singing a new melody, and came up with ‘All the Best Debts’ pretty quickly. I even managed to get the hard stops and Motown talking part in there at the end.”

Allis continues, “I usually write songs like short stories, giving my characters names and fictional backgrounds. ‘All the Best Debts’ is more confessional than that. I had just ended a two year relationship, moved to a new city, and was noticing that the lives of my friends were now more varied than they’d ever been; some were getting married, some were living with their parents, some had really good jobs and others were living with six roommates. I put it all in this song, which has an expansive quality that I think matches that feeling of impending flight or impending doom. It’s also been our go-to opener ever since.

Fever Dolls' "All the Best Debts' poster

Fever Dolls’ “All the Best Debts’ poster

Well I saw your lover standing out in the rain
Wasted hours going down the drain
Reciting every promise you made,
line and indication you gave
Well I’ve got a fear of making love in the dark
And getting near enough to break my heart
And I hear you met your conscience clearing up the Boston bars
And I hear you got the money to steer into oncoming cars

Musically, “All the Best Debts” is heartland folk rock at its finest. It’s an easy listening song similar to the likes of Mt. Joy and The Head and the Heart’s recent releases, with its own grit and edge that makes it a distinctly Fever Dolls production. Though it runs for nearly seven minutes, the song doesn’t feel long at all; instead, it feels right: It’s a perfect length of time for us to sink under Fever Dolls’ spell, only to come out on the other side refreshed, renewed, and ready to take another day.

Officially an Atwood Magazine artist-to-watch, Fever Dolls will be donating the next three months of Fever Dolls’ streaming and merchandise revenue to G.L.I.T.S. and the Emergency Release Fund. Give “All the Best Debts” a listen, and get to know one New York’s hottest indie acts (our words).

Well I’m the fastest kid of the last-in crop
They say, I came up fighting and I still ain’t stopped.
I’m the banshee you can’t see me come when you go,
I got all the best debts that a woman could owe
So when you tell them that you saw me
tell them I took the long way out

Tell them Brooklyn, you burned me up just to turn me down
Would you talk back?
If they hit your jaw back?
Would you crumble? Would you crawl?
Would you grab ‘em by the collar
and drag ‘em out on their ass

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Stream: “All The Best Debts” – Fever Dolls

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All the Best Debts - Fever Dolls

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com