Thanks to tight chemistry, killer hooks, and a distinctive sound that’s both lo-fi and retro-pop smooth, New Jersey’s Dentist have managed to stand out amid a sea of like-minded musical acts. The band’s sunny indie-surf sound and energetic, four-on-the-floor rock belies the subtle and dark lyrics often hiding beneath the sweet exterior. Part of that is thanks to the sneak-attack vocal delivery by singer Emily Bornemann, who supplies those serious lyrics in a sweet, almost teen-girl lilt that manages to smuggle words dripping poison into sun-dappled melodies, in songs like “Figure-Four,” with its refrain of “The world has gone to shit / and I am over it.”
Similar sentiments suffuse the entirety of the band’s new album, Night Swimming, which is out tomorrow via Cleopatra Records, but is exclusively available on The A.V. Club today to stream in its entirety. (UPDATE: The full album is now available to stream on Spotify via the link below.)
For its part, the band is excited for people to hear a more expansive and ambitious—not to mention ass-kicking—sound than that found on its 2014 debut. “One thing we’re excited about with this record is the variation,” the members told The A.V. Club. “We love playing heavier songs like ‘Upset Words’ or ‘Tight Spot’ (maybe the heaviest we’ve ever gotten so far), and then switching to something that’s more straight up indie pop like ‘Corked,’ or even something acoustic like ‘All Is Well (In Hell)‘. We like to think our sound is cohesive, but feel that we’ve managed to have a lot of variation in that framework.”
Indeed, throughout the record the group takes its surf-rock stylings in unexpected directions, whether it’s the hard-charging riffs of the title track (“It touches on some of the main themes of the album, and Emily also feels that this song is one of the best examples of expressing her true feelings”), or the slow-build indie-groove churn of “Owl Doom Pt. 2.” The band is embarking on a monthlong U.S. tour in support of the album, with dates listed on its website.
You can order Night Swimming here starting tomorrow, Friday, July 20.