Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee Penny on Embracing the Pop Aesthetic
Dee Dee Penny, founder and frontwoman of Dum Dum Girls, is known for her shy disposition. She's probably also tired of hearing about it in the press, but only one second into our phone call, it's obvious how reserved, quiet, and thoughtful she is. The way she speaks is absolutely charming, and it translates well into the shoegaze-y dream-pop band she leads.
Courtesy Photo Dum Dum Girls are scheduled to appear at Crescent Ballroom on Sunday, March 9.
Dum Dum Girls' recently released record, Too True, is a slight departure from the band's other two LPs and four EPs, with its darker vibe (think Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Jesus and Mary Chain) and dance-y rhythms.
"An artist like [Madonna] or David Bowie or Primal Scream have shifted what they do drastically from record to record," Penny tells me, citing Madonna's pop influence on her from a young age. "I think, on this record, I was keen to do something more upbeat, danceable, [and with a] pop aesthetic, in as much as that makes sense in the Dum Dum Girls world."
Too True marks the fifth release the Girls employed the talent of producer Richard Gottehrer, noted for his work with Blondie and The Go-Go's and his role in writing "I Want Candy" as a member of The Strangeloves. Penny's working relationship with Gottehrer started when he tweaked her bedroom recordings and oversaw post-production on what later would become the band's debut, I Will Be.
"[It was] a great introduction in working more collaboratively together on future stuff. He just has a really interesting life story and his résumé is work, be it songwriting or producing," Penny says. "We have a lot of the same reference points -- except for me, it's that I love these records, and, for him, it's that he worked on them."