Since Black Dresses linked up for the first time last year, the Toronto-based duo has been putting out music at a feverish pace. There’s been a full-length, WASTEISOLATION, and an EP, HELL IS REAL, and today Devi McCallion and Rook are releasing their next album together, THANK YOU.
It’s pretty much 11 songs worth of what you’ve come to expect from Black Dresses, but these feel even more finely-tuned than the ones that came before. It sounds little less abrasive overall, or maybe it’s just mixed a little better. There’s still those satisfying moments of crackling noise, but a lot of that is supplanted by a persistent general unease, characterized by creeping synths that stretch like bubblegum stuck to a shoe. Closer “BABY STEPS” sounds as close to a lullaby as Black Dresses will probably ever get; “LOOK AWAY” paces in frantic circles, zooming by like a rat race.
The lyrics continue their fatalistic streak, death-obsessed while also espousing a sense of community — as they put in one of the tracks, if we’re going to be going to hell, “let’s go to hell together.” There’s songs about how we’re fucking up the earth and letting down the people in it, about dreaming for a better world, about thinking things can’t get worse until they do.
But, if anything, THANK YOU sort of makes it feel like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, even through all the mayhem. “It’s just I’m glad we’re in this struggle together/ But I wish we didn’t have to define ourselves by the struggle at all,” Rook says in one spoken word interlude. That the album opens and closes on a note of thanks feels appropriate — an appreciation for building a support system around songs that harness an inner range, by making something interior more exterior and tactile.
THANK YOU is out now.