d0llywood1’s latest is frighteningly up-front, an aggressive electronic collage that reinforces why she’s one of the best in the vanguard.
d0llywood1 is no stranger to unpredictbility. For a couple years now she’s imbued her voice with digitised intensity, trashing between walls of drum breaks and synthetic sustain, without a hint of unironic facade. She walks a bizarre tightrope between the overexposed and industrialised world of hyperpop (which still, to this day, lacks a proper definition) and the quieter corners of the underground. “sixteen fourty-four” is her latest, a sub-2 minute seasonal cycle that embraces burning waveforms and their cold remains.
By the time the kick drums enter and bring the song to life d0lly’s switched flow twice. “sixteen” is the height of agility; vocals cut through and around blasts of noise that clear the way for suitably clatterish breaks. The beat seems to absorb itself as rapped verses turn to held notes. Eventually ad-libs take over, which combines with Minecraft cover art to bring an idiosyncratic carefree vibe to an otherwise subterranean mood.
As ever the conflation of elation and despair runs through the lyrics. There’s talk of “extended mags” and an aptly described “addiction to switching up”, all filtered through a maniacal lens. The tone of d0lly’s voice here is past comfortable – these thoughts begin to feel like runaways, born from a mind that can’t shut down. The effort needed to access this less approachable viewpoint is obvious as voice and harmony begin to disintegrate into one another.
“And I don’t get respect even though I made it” gives some more perspective. Perhaps calling d0lly’s flows desperate is too extreme, but she’s fighting tooth and nail on “sixteen”, against the beat, against the clock, against layers of her own voice. With music companies pushing to appropriate hyperpop any sense of cohesion has been lost; playlists put d0lly next to Osquinn next to A.G Cook next to Fax Gang without much thought for the subtleties between. This is a scene full of nonconformists presenting a multiplicity of identities and as ever this spectrum is compressed for the sake of profit. As listeners we can speculate that d0lly is fighting on “sixteen” to stand out, as competition – real or artificial – continues to rise.
Luckily there’s no forecast for d0lly falling. “sixteen fourty-four” contains peaks and valleys, a metamorphosis of sound reminiscent of an arduous journey. Even in unfamiliar territory d0lly moves like a spark in a pool of gasoline, as ready to let her potential energy hover as she is to let it all burn down.
Listen to “sixteen fourty-four” here.
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– Jamie (⅓ @108MICS)