When we interviewed Kristin Kontrol, aka Kristin Welchez or just good ol’ Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls, we asked her whether the title of her solo record X-Communicate was a message about her past. While we didn’t get a direct answer, the moment Show Me starts we pretty much get an answer to our question.
“I will show you,” she sings, and later adds: “There’s no need to change yourself”. Welchez has repeatedly emphasised that this isn’t some new character or persona, but that this is her without any constructs. In that respect, shunning the lo-fi fuzz-rock of her previous band, the lines could well be a letter to herself. This is who she is, unapologetically pop-rock and synth-dripped, and that’s absolutely, 100% ok.
What Kristin Kontrol does have in common with Dee Dee, however, is a supreme confidence in getting her message across. The hard riffs of White Street act as a superb bed for her 80s-delivery, and what becomes clear is that identity is a looming theme for the record. “Don’t you wanna be something to someone?” Welchez asks on (Don’t Wannabe) to the backing of airy synth; the disco-inflected title track and a track rather tellingly named Skin Shed highlight that further.
In our chat with us, Welchez said she wanted to make something that didn’t get reduced to nostalgia. At times it is hard to ignore the Bowie influence or the Bush vibe (Drive The Night) but Kristin Kontrol has enough charisma to take complete, well, control over her material. More importantly, these are songs so immaculately crafted that they’d happily sit on radio waves or hipster mixtapes. If X-Communicate is about saying goodbye to the past and carving individuality, then there’s no doubt that Kristin Kontrol has bright new future ahead of her.