The SideOneDummy record label has been responsible for bands with punk leanings since the mid-’90s, but no-one must have told Dresses. There is precious little that screams punk rock about this Portland boyfriend/girlfriend duo that has been playing music together for just over a year, and are more interested in warm weather, hipster jeans and a stylish set of bangs. Sun Shy is the duo’s introduction to the public.

Timothy Heller (yep, a woman named Timothy) and her partner in crime Jared Ryan Maldonado play twee folk tunes that evoke thoughts of the beach rather than a workshop surrounded by grease monkeys. ‘Blew My Mind’ is the first song the couple wrote together and is chock-full of the joyous revelry that comes with a new relationship, with some keys and beats thrown in for good measure.

Maldonado steps out from the shadows to provide some unaffected vocals to the title track, which is bound to be a party anthem of the summer. ‘Friends Are Dead’ is an impeccable dose of female driven Euro-melody that is so infectious it would make the likes of Lily Allen blush if she had a little more class.

With two voices and a foot in the folk, indie and pop camps, Dresses are a band that is still finding its unique voice. If Sun Shy is anything to go by, it will be a hell of a lot of fun observing their coming of age.

4/5 stars


Sun Shy is out now through SideOneDummy/Shock.

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