Whimsical, candid, and introspective, Canadian four-piece Dizzy return with their eclectic sophomore album, The Sun and Her Scorch.
Filled with gentle hums and buzzing vibrations, Dizzy’s newest release finds itself in a sweet spot of being relaxing yet somehow exciting, all whilst tugging at your heartstrings and bringing up buried emotions. The band’s 2018 debut, Baby Teeth, was a raw, chaotic coming-of-age record that told a story of suburban melancholy skepticism, whilst The Sun and Her Scorch explores all the parts that frontwoman Katie Munshaw dislikes about herself, which she calls “self-heartbreak.” There’s still the suburban nativity to the band’s sound, with a homey touch since it was all recorded in Munshaw’s mum’s basement, but this time the band is going all-in by opening up about their own insecurities—loneliness, aging, jealousy, and co-dependency. The subject matter is a bit dark at times, but pop hooks and fizzy basslines brighten up the sombre-yet-cheeky lyrics, making it a true alt-pop record.
Opener ‘Worms’ is an ambient, hazy tune that transports you into the band’s suburban childhood in Oshawa, Ontario. Laced with nostalgia and foggy memories, a phone call fades into a sleek guitar riff before Munshaw’s dreamy vocals enhance the track, singing about how she’s finding to find her way out of a dark state, “Shine your light down to me / And I’ll cling to it / I’ve been sleeping with the worms / I got used to it.” Worms aren’t typically the most conventional insect for a metaphor, but Dizzy have never been ones for convention and the track—insect references aside—is more endearing than weird, making it a quirky but welcomed opening to the record.
The sombre-toned, creative lyrics are sprinkled throughout the album. Even when the quartet leans into some pop grooves, they always find a way to cloud it with some darker themes. ‘Sunflower’ and ‘The Magician’ are filled with summery, anthemic rhythms that on first listen sound uplifting, but are actually drenched in themes of death and loneliness, as on the latter, Munshaw thinks of all the ways she back an old friend from beyond the grave, singing, “Cause if I could get back to the place / The place where you came from / Think I could bring you back / Body and soul intact.” It’s touching and takes a play out of sad queen Phoebe Bridgers’ book to create a unique dichotomy of being somehow upbeat yet mournful.
When the music feels too emo, the band introduce some lighter songs and buoyant instrumentals to back up the vulnerable lyrics. ‘Lefty’ is a breakup song tinted with hopeless romanticism as Munshaw recounts her emotions, sharing “My honey pie / Found me at the right time / The kinda guy you’d wanna fall in love / Lefty.” A glittery bassline and chirpy vocals introduce ‘Good and Right,’ but despite its lighthearted rhythm, the tune revolves around Munshaw asking someone how they think they’ll die, listing off different possibilities. There’s a Wolf Alice-likeness to the track, incorporating a rumbling guitar with clean vocals, that despite the morbid lyrics, encourages you to sing along.
In addition to lucid pop-leaning tunes, there are ballads like ‘Primerose Hill’ and atmospheric ‘Ten’ that slow things down towards the end. Acting like a bookshelf, ‘Worms II’ closes out the eleven-track album, almost identical to the interlude, but with a change of lyrics as the band says goodbye not only to the listener but the world.
The Sun and Her Scorch shows an evolution of the band’s sound, cleaning up any imperfections removing the suburban crutch of their debut. Whilst the subject matter is gloomy, the basslines and Munshaw’s captivating vocals tend to keep the songs afloat with some light. The record is nothing new, but then again, music doesn’t always have to reinvent the wheel to be good. Dizzy seems to explore their sound on this one, even if it’s slightly oversaturated with a morbid melancholy crisis.
Dizzy’s The Sun and Her Scorch is out this Friday via Communion Records and is available to pre-order now.