Premiere: Nashville Vibe Meets Modern Pop in Dirty Dollhouse’s “Honey, They’re onto Us”

Dirty Dollhouse © Rob Swift
Dirty Dollhouse © Rob Swift
Sometimes we grow apart from one another; letting go will set you free, according to Dirty Dollhouse’s “Honey, They’re onto Us.”
Stream: “Honey, They’re onto Us” – Dirty Dollhouse

The fear of losing someone we love is a natural human fear, so we begin to hold onto each other, even if it hurts like touching broken glass. Sometimes what started as a strong bond gets weaker; people grow apart instead of growing together, breaking like a glass – shattering in two. Taking action means fixing it or letting it go. Letting go is definitely the harder part, especially when the chaos is simply based on the fact that two people who used to be drunk on love have sobered up over the years. Most of us are familiar with this heart-breaking situation, and so is the folk chanteuse Chelsea Mitchell.

Mitchell, who is writing songs under the name Dirty Dollhouse and has already enriched us in the past with her 2017 debut album Vinyl Child and various songs like “Sidecar,” has dropped a brand new single, called “Honey, They’re onto Us” today.

Honey, They're onto Us - Dirty Dollhouse
Honey, They’re onto Us – Dirty Dollhouse
I left you with a letter and nothing more
I thought you’d wanna know
If anyone says anything different
I’m never coming home
I didn’t lose my faith, I let it go
I didn’t use you babe,
I just can’t stay no more
I said from the beginning and meant it
When I took you up in arms
I’d love you every minute, I didn’t think
I’d ever live so long

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Honey, They’re Onto Us,” the lead single off Dirty Dollhouse’s upcoming EP Queen Coyote. The single melodically combines folk, pop, and country influences in one. Lyrically, it speaks about the situation when one of two realizes that a relationship is simply not working out anymore.

According to Mitchell, the song is simply about “a relationship that once started strong but lasted for the wrong reasons.”

“I see this song as kind of a bittersweet goodbye to a relationship that went on too long,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “Sometimes you can’t admit that you’ve both grown apart. Maybe life threw some unfair punches that you couldn’t recover from. Maybe you haven’t felt like yourself for years and you can’t say why. When no one is unfaithful or does anything to hurt the other person, it only makes it harder to leave, even if it’s the right thing to do.”

Dirty Dollhouse © 2018
Dirty Dollhouse © 2018

Sometimes life goes its crazy ways and punches you at points where you would have never expected it; you might grow away from someone you used to love like crazy, or you might just feel like you can’t be yourself anymore and you just don’t know why. We all know it; we are simply afraid of being alone after being with someone for a long time. Deep down, we know we have to let go and not let our daunting fear conquer ourselves.

This message is underlined by very honest lyrics in the song, such as, “I just can’t stay no more,” or, “better off than before.” These lyrics say the feelings at that particular stage in life out loud in a very blunt and direct way. Whatever you say is going to hurt, so sometimes it is the best way to stick to the truth in order to avoid uncertainty for the other one.

Honey, they’re onto us
I’d never want it but
Everyone knows by now
I think we had it rough
Nothing you coulda done
And nobody needs you now
And I’m getting out

Even though the lyrics are talking about a sad and heartbreaking situation, they also suggest that the upcoming change will be better for both parties. Not working anymore as lovers is nowadays a normal thing to happen, but it takes strength to admit that, in order to let the other person go in a peaceful way. Lines like, “I am not losing my faith, I’ll let go” suggest the bright new light at the end of the tunnel, full of new opportunities waiting for both parties. It is not about losing the belief in each other; it is about admitting the truth and still believing in the other person.

Letting go, especially of someone you loved, is a very hard thing – and admitting that this action is necessary to take on, in order to be happy, is even harder to admit. This message is pushed further by lines like, “everyone knows by now,” or “I think you know by now.” This truth might feel like an arrow breaking your heart in two at the first point, but sometimes that is needed in order to open the gates for a new way of life.

At the end, Dirty Dollhouse makes peace with the situation by saying, “I don’t need to lose you baby, I’ll let you go,” which suggests that matureness and strength in admitting the truth might save both from the ultimate heartbreak, as we all know letting go can be painful, but losing someone who used to be very important, can break the heart in two.

So whatcha doin’ cryin’ and boozin’
When everyone’s on their own
So whatcha doin’ tryin’ and provin’ you’re
Better off than before
I didn’t lose you babe, I let you go
I didn’t use you babe, I just can’t wait no more
Took the matches in the dresser drawer
I was sure
You’d burn down the house
Put the liquor by the cellar door
You were sure
I’d come around somehow

The lyrics describe a painful situation combined with the upcoming warm feeling of hope. Melodically, this is supported by light chords, combining folk, pop, and country influences in one. It is a slow song, with a nice chorus, that feels like a warm blanket for all the ones who have aching hearts in the cuddling season.

Listening to “Honey, They’re onto Us” feels like someone might finally find the right words to describe the emotional chaos in your head and give you the feeling of a warm hug with the scent of hope: Hope that everything will be alright, even though it seems to fall apart all at once.

Dirty Dollhouse © Rob Swift
Dirty Dollhouse © Rob Swift

Based in lovely Philadelphia, Chelsea Mitchell considers herself as a retro pop composer, with a soft spot for country. Her hard work has already paid off in the past; for example, she won the Tri-State indie vocalist of the year award and the lyrics of her song “Nobody’s Daughter” featured in American Songwriter magazine.

In all Dirty Dollhouse’s musical works, you can feel the homey Nashville vibe, wrapped like a warm blanket around your body. Her music is inspired by folk, country, and pop so as to create a brand new intimate genre of her own. She is often compared to artists like Nicole Atkins, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandi Carlile. Mitchell, who has got a very unique vocal range, considers herself a singer/songwriter; as her songs represent an autobiographical vibe, it almost feels like reading and flicking through someone else’s diary pages. Her lovely band, the people who live the music as much as she does, include Joshua Machiz on the bass guitar, Eric Lawry on the drums, and August John Lutz II on the guitar.

Dirty Dollhouse are definitely a band on the rise, spreading their honest songs out there in this big wide world, and also supporting acts like Nikki Lane and Amanda Shires in order to reach a larger audience.

In the transitional weather from the coloured leaves to the cold white blankets, “Honey, They’re onto Us” feels like a warm blanket wrapped around your cold body, telling you exactly what you need to hear: You are not alone, everything’s gonna be alright, and you will be happy.

If you coincidentally happen to be in the Philadelphia area right now, and you’re looking for plans on the 14th of November, we highly suggest taking on the unique opportunity of seeing Dirty Dollhouse live at Boot + Saddle (tickets here).

Stream: “Honey, They’re onto Us” – Dirty Dollhouse

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Honey, They're onto Us - Dirty Dollhouse

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