With their fiesty red locks and refusal to succumb to cliche love songs, the Worry Dolls’ second EP Burden is a stomping example of cowgirl country folk, Pistol Annie style. It’s like looking through a lens into a dusty strip of a town where big city girls Rosie and Zoe cause a stir with the locals before fleeing to the next town.
This thirteen-minute, four-track EP is sung in impeccable harmony with banjo and guitar accompaniment. What shines throughout is the duo’s connection with each other and their ability to transform yearning into quirkiness, and London into Nashville. That’s what excites me most; the Dolls’ ability to make nostalgia upbeat.
To connect with a song, I need to understand the story, feel it deeply, or want to dance with it. The lyrics don’t need to be overly clever as much as they need to be honest, real and dig into my core. There are some songs that move me to tears because of how powerfully deep the lyrics and/or instrumentals drive. Whilst Worry Dolls’ music doesn’t necessarily move me to tears, I want to dance with it, and I feel something.
The tracks that gave make me want to dance the most are ‘Be So Cruel’ and ‘Long Gone’, the former a pining for past connections that breaks from a gorgeous intro into a foot tapping, knee slapping, head bobbing song. Both combine a wistful subject with a vibe that compels arms to sway and feet to dance.
‘Monkey On My Back’ and ‘Shaking In Our Boots’ describe hidden anxieties, trust issues and fear of life passing by.
Burden is a fine example of how contrast can strengthen a melody, the tracks blend beautifully into each other. With country and folk music burgeoning in the UK, I see good things happening for the Dolls.
The Worry Dolls UK tour kicks off on May 9 in Darlington with dates throughout May and June.
Burden is out on 8 June.
Helen Marie Grant