This article was written in collaboration by Maggie McHale and Kaitlyn Zorilla
If Dizzyride had to sum up their sound in a word, it would be “minimalism.” Quixotic soul drips within every one of Dizzyride’s chords, transporting listeners to a sonically innovative, astral plane. This notion is expressly true in the case of the NYC-based group’s debut album, eponymously entitled Dizzyride, which Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering today.
Having only released two EPs since their formation (both of which came out in 2016), Dizzyride are ready to prove themselves as an indie tour-de-force in the new year. Their self-titled LP is a hazy, wistful sonic narrative that is luminously inspirative and feels reminiscent of other lo-fi contemporaries, while still upholding its own unique charm. Dizzyride is simultaneously illustrious and determinate, maintaining a stark self-awareness while providing dreamy, lucent melodies throughout the 10-track album.
Listen: Dizzyride – Dizzyride
Dizzyride is fundamentally intricate, as its overall sonic whimsy heavily contrasts with each individual track’s innate mindfulness. The album’s opener, “Soundtrack,” feels very much akin to its title: a sweeping, almost wistful arrangement introduces listeners to the album’s overall tone, and provides insight to what is to be expected from Dizzyride and the rest of the Dizzyride LP. “Soundtrack” is redundant, yet illusory; it is a perfect overture to Dizzyride’s definitive sound.
As the album treks on, each track reveals its own unique narrative. Songs like “Jungle Mix” and “Man in a Golden Suit” seem lighter, yet connote deeper meaning upon further examination — in “Jungle Mix,” Dizzyride’s female half, Zoë Kiefl croons about an uncontrollable infatuation, repeatedly saying: “amour fou,” which literally translates from French to “crazy love.” “Man in a Golden Suit,” helmed by Dizzyride’s male half, Nicola Donà, sounds reminiscent of Heroes-era David Bowie. Donà sings, “Translucent moon, sharpening the view / I didn’t really think / I was looking for you…” Meanwhile, Kiefl interjects throughout the song with the ominous “Looking out for something good.” It is an ode to the night, and the adventure and intrigue that accompanies it.
Watch: “Soundtrack” – Dizzyride
The fourth track, “Cry Your Lungs Out,” finds Kiefl warbling a tune that feels almost like a lullaby, leaving the listener enchanted by the song’s persistent fantasy. It feels like, if given to a different artist, it could be more fast-paced — say, Florence & the Machine — yet Dizzyride manages to hook in their listener with a wistful, enrapturing melody. Ironically, the subsequent track is entitled “Candy Lullaby,” which lyrically does seem more akin to an actual lullaby; it is whimsical and inventive and poetic, as Kiefl opens with
I was lost at sea
Below skies like purple candy
In my own company
The air was sweeter than honey
Though this is just the opening, there is still a story to be told; an intriguing and fantastical tale with which one wants to instantly follow along.
Expanding upon their exploration of a dream like dimension on “Candy Lullaby,” Dizzyride play with the concepts of time on “One Night.” The opening seconds are eerily futuristic and have a machine-like quality to them. But a few seconds later, the saxophone comes in, bringing with it a sense of nostalgia for something or someone or some time past. This duality of time runs throughout the song, reinforced when Kiefl sings “a stranger that I used to know.”
The saxophone that starts “Fever Free” serves as a perfect transition between the airy “One Night” and the deep, groovy nature of this track. With the presence of the drums and guitar, this song is more driving than the others and the placement of “Fever Free” right after two songs sung by Kiefl makes the entrance of Donà’s voice even more powerful. Having two lead singers whose voices are so strikingly different is an enormous asset in making unique music and that is displayed throughout the album, most notably in this track.
If “One Night” toyed with the concept of the future, “Metallic Touch” dives into it head first. The intro is haunting; it immediately draws you in and immerses you in its world. While Kiefl sings about a lost relationship, the audience floats upon the out-of-this-world music that accompanies her dreamy voice. In this atmosphere, it’s easy to want to make grand statements about life and what it all means but Kiefl pulls us back down, reminding us “not everything’s a metaphor.”
Things then slow down in “Young You,” even Donà’s voice feels different, his words more drawn out. This is the first time we hear Donà and Kiefl’s voices harmonizing together in sync on the same track, being more complementary rather than supplementary to one another.
Watch: “Young You” – Dizzyride
“Gold Mines,” the final track of the album, starts with the sound of whimsical harps. They rise and fall throughout the song, perfectly accenting the fairytale-esque quality of Kiefl’s voice. The saxophone also returns, connecting the end to the middle. The gentle harp is the last thing you hear as the song fades out. Much like the feeling of watching a good movie come to its conclusion, Dizzyride leaves their audience satisfied yet somehow wanting more.
Dizzyride and Dizzyride have succeeded in creating an entrancing and matchless narrative that will leave listeners wholly enchanting until the very end. Kiefl’s siren-like vocals, accompanied by Donà’s heavier presence, give the album a balanced dichotomy of darkness and light, just as the album’s lyricism and instrumentation do as well. Dizzyride is hypnotic, charming, and sufficiently magnetizing. Listen to Dizzyride’s self-titled album now, exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
Cover: Dizzyride © Angus Borsos
Dizzyride – Dizzyride
Dizzyride Tour Dates
01.23.17 – Raleigh, NC @ Kings
01.25.17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
01.28.17 – Baltimore, MD @ E.M.P.
01.29.17 – Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
01.31.17 – Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s Pub
02.01.17 – Brattleboro, VT @ Metropolis
02.03.17 – Burlington, VT @ The Monkey House
02.11.17 – Cleveland, OH @ Wilbert’s Music Hall
02.12.17 – Cincinnati, OH @ RAKE’S END
02.13.17 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
02.16.17 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia