Billy & Dolly, the duet of Bill Rousseau and Dahlia Gallin Ramirez, have been a fixture in the Bay Area independent music scene since they first broke through in 2004 with their heavy, Moog-centric outfit, The Monolith. After five years of pavement pounding, The Monolith called it quits, but the duo kept close together, traded in the electronics for acoustic guitar and piano, and turned to the pop music of their earliest memories: Donovan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Dolly Parton to name a few. With the requisite stripping of layers and effects, the duo brought their vocals to the forefront, delivering heartfelt tales and arresting stories of love, loss, and everything in between.
Debuting in 2009 with their appropriately titled album, In the Beginning, Billy & Dolly unveiled a smoother, crisper sound than anything they had displayed in The Monolith. Still planted firmly in rock and roll, many of the songs on In the Beginning were explorations rather than determinations. Well received from their first outings, either as a duo or backed by drummer Alex de Carville (The Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice) and bassist Adam Cunha (20 Minute Loop), Billy & Dolly ran with this new-found momentum, opening shows for the likes of Dr. Dog and Apples In Stereo, and gracing stages at venues around the city, from The Independent to their personal favorite, The Rite Spot.
Last year proved to be watershed time for Billy & Dolly. They recorded their latest LP, Dally Bon Idyll, with producer/musician Jason Quever (Papercuts), and recruited artist Jason Munn (The Small Stakes) to design the cover. Honing their straightforward, yet pitch-perfect pop melodies, Billy & Dolly are singing with a new stride on Dally Bon Idyll. More relaxed, confident, even playful, the duo soar above their earlier material with catchy riffs and harmonious vocals as much as with their intimate and immediate songwriting.
Billy & Dolly’s music will be featured on the upcoming 5th season of the HBO series True Blood in June, 2012.
Annie Owstrowski – Riot Act Media
James Combs – Laurel Canon Licensing