To Eleven Review

If you know anything about me, you know I like indie-pop. That is to say, I like music that uses pop-hooks, rock influences, chord structures that aren’t too complicated, and vocals that are pleasant. I’m not talking about most Top 40 crap…that stuff reaches for the lowest common denominator. I’m talking about the stuff I can put on in the background and listen to without feeling like I’m listening to music for 3rd graders, but also music that if I want to sit down and give a close listen to, there will be some measure of depth.

On Dally Bon Idyll, the duo Billy & Dolly (Bill Rousseau and Dahlia Gallin Ramirez, formerly of Monolith) are doing it right. The opening track, “Oh Yeah,” sounds a little like Claudia Gonson of the Magnetic Fields if she lost all her irony. By track two, “Gold,” I had to do a double-take to make sure I wasn’t listening to The Magic Numbers, and by the end of the album, I was hearing shades of Peter Bjorn & John, the Shins, and even Revolver-era Beatles.

The thing is, I didn’t feel like these were influences on them (Well, except for the Beatles, but who isn’t influenced by the Beatles?). Rather, I feel like these are all bands I like, and Billy & Dolly have managed to place themselves amongst these other bands, making pop music that is 1000 times better that the pop that gets radio play. They are playing pop music for adults, and they are doing it without the pretense and the irony that comes with a lot of indie-pop today. This is good stuff.

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Weekly Picks – San Francisco Bay Guardian

Have you noticed? Like clockwork, the buds on the ornamental plum trees are starting to power pop their thin pink petals, making sidewalks more poetic all across the city. Ephemeral yet impressive, the changing season awakens melodies of Billy and Dolly, the local singing and songwriting duo formerly of the Monolith. The guy-girl combo is backed by the Tell-Tale Hearts, a sonic unity of 20 Minute Loop’s rockin’ guitar-bass team and the Monolith’s drummer. The harmonies are deliciously poppy and achingly bittersweet, reminiscent of Elliott Smith, were he not so chronically bummed and had a lovely lady voice as a complement. Beware: between the trees and the tunes, it’s all so pretty, it just might hurt your heart. (Kat Renz)

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Rip This Band Off: Billy & Dolly and The Art of Giving It Away – KQED

Would you make room on your shelf for pop band Billy and Dolly? After discovering that his favorite unknown band has poured blood, sweat, tears and its own money into making, in his opinion, the most awesome record ever, reporter Eric Winick tests the Bay Area band’s latest album, In the Beginning on a few of his friends. Will they treasure it as much as he does?

Listen as Eric Winick spreads the word about SF band Billy and Dolly’s latest album, In the Beginning. (Running Time: 20:45)

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