Katie Monks wants you naked in her kitchen, making her breakfast. She says as much on “Green,” the ninth track on her band Dilly Dally’s frenetic LP Sore — and when the request is made in Monks’ infectious gravely growl, one is inclined to oblige.
Dilly Dally comprises Monks along with her BFF Liz Ball (guitar), drummer Benjamin Reinhartz, and bassist Jimmy Tony, and their debut has them poised to break out of their home town, Toronto, in a big way. While Sore is brand new (it doesn’t officially come out until October 9, but it’s currently streaming on Spotify), Dilly Dally has been kicking around the Toronto scene since 2009. Monks and Ball met in high school, bonding over a mutual affection for Kurt Cobain and Christopher Owens — it’s easy to hear on “Green,” which itself is several years old. Dilly Dally has seen a rotating cast of characters in its rhythm section, but current members Reinhartz and the dual-nicknamed Tony seem to be providing some stability… for now, anyway.
The band is most certainly a product of the Toronto scene, and it sure didn’t hurt that Monks’ brother is a member of local heroes Tokyo Police Club. But it was their relentlessness that benefitted them more than anything else; after playing countless local shows, releasing a few singles and a 7-inch, Sore is poised to be the band’s breakout release. And some older heads are taking notice — the LP was co-produced by Josh Korody and and Leon Taheny, who have production credits with the likes of Fucked Up, Owen Pallett, and Austra. Monks told the British zine Overblown that Korody “is amazing with guitar tones, noises, style…” and that Taheny always makes sure the “‘song’ cuts through the shit.”
Sore’s major themes are rebirth and personal growth are the major themes of Sore, from the sexual release of “Desire” to the self-understanding of “Green” and their “Purple Rage.” But part of that growth includes an embrace of pop music. The tones, themes and vocals on the record might be best described as filthy at times, but they’re built on a foundation of solid pop songwriting. And while it’s certainly possible that some of Sore was conceived of/by the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, the band publicly announced on their Facebook that they were taking a break from alcohol together, saying they’ve “all struggled with addiction in some shape or form, and when times get dark, it’s time to make a change.” They understand — even embrace — the beauty of the struggle, but it seems that tuning out is not an option anymore. As Monks told the FADER: “What can I say? Happiness is a struggle, but the last thing I’d ever want you or anyone else to do is give up that fight.”
And if the band’s newfound clarity enables a long career of disgusting riffs and angsty moans, then we’ll all be better for it. Listen to Sore below, streaming now on Spotify and out October 9 on Partisan in the U.S. and Buzz in Canada, then head to dillydallyband.com to check out the record’s interactive companion game.