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Irish noise pop group Dott tread the line between the sugary, handclap-filled melodies of early-'60s AM radio and the lo-fi fuzz of '90s garage punk, while providing a kick with their intensely personal and sometimes political lyrics, and the powerful voice of Anna McCarthy.
The band was formed in early 2012 in Galway by songwriter and guitarist McCarthy, bassist Laura Finnegan, and drummer Conor Hickey. They were soon joined by guitarist Nicola Cosgrove, and in the summer of 2012 -- following the release of their debut EP, Button -- Dott began touring the Irish and U.K. festival circuits and also made their U.S. debut in New York. Their catchy distorted pop songs caught the attention of American indie Graveface Records, which signed the group later that year. In late 2013, with new guitarist Miriam Donohue replacing Cosgrove, Dott released their debut LP, Swoon. Following the album's release, Donohue left the band and was replaced by Evan O'Connor.
Ticking off an item on their respective bucket lists, McCarthy and O'Connor moved to Toronto in 2015, where they were married. They carried on as a duo, releasing the Carousel EP, which was a Record Store Day 2014 co-release with the band Night School. A year later, they issued a four-song EP, Beverly Baldwin, that was recorded on four-track in their apartment and featured a song with guest vocals by Torche's Andrew Elstner. The duo's North American sojourn ended after about a year, and they returned to Ireland. Once there, they reconnected with bassist Laura Finnegan and recruited Donal Finnegan to fill the drum seat.
The quartet began work on their second album in 2017, after McCarthy spent a week alone at a cottage on the West Coast of Ireland writing and demoing new songs. Themes of escape and songs that dealt with the political upheaval the world was experiencing took care of the lyrical half of the equation; a more nuanced pop-punk approach fulfilled the musical side. Featuring a guest spot by Speedy Ortiz guitarist Sadie Dupuis, Heart Swell was released by Graveface in June of 2018. ~ Timothy Monger
- Galway, Ireland
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