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Centered around singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom's angular melodies, Denver indie pop band Dressy Bessy emerged in the late '90s and stuck to their colorful, dreamy rock sound as they rode the waves of the next several decades.
Loosely affiliated with the Elephant 6 collective, the band represented the more streamlined pop side of a group known best for outsider perspectives. The band grew from '60s kitsch and bubblegum influences into a more punky form on their 2005's Electrified.
Before forming Dressy Bessy, guitarist/vocalist Tammy Ealom began her musical career as a member of the little-known 40th Day. In time she left the group to focus on writing her own material, eventually joining the earliest incarnation of the Minders. A series of short-lived projects (including a stint in Sissy Fuzz) followed before a frustrated Ealom befriended drummer Darren Albert, and with bassist Rob Greene they formed Dressy Bessy, issuing their debut single, "Ultra Vivid Colour," in mid-1997. Ealom's boyfriend, Apples in Stereo guitarist John Hill, signed on for 1998's You Stand Here EP; the full-length Pink Hearts Yellow Moons followed early the next year on venerable indie pop label Kindercore. Their colorful, childlike aesthetic fit very well with the band's twee-pop musical style.
Ealom and Hill's relationship continued with 2003's self-titled album. Two big changes happened after that; Albert left the band and was replaced by Craig Gilbert, and Kindercore effectively ceased operations. That left Dressy Bessy to look for a new home, and in 2005 they signed with Transdreamer Records, soon releasing their fourth album, the tougher, more punk-influenced Electrified. Their next album, 2008's Holler and Stomp, went even further in that direction, adding some post-punk and no wave to their bubblegum pop. The result didn't make the band's fans too happy, and a scheduled tour didn't do well thanks to the global economic collapse. These factors led Ealom and Hill (who were at this point married) to put the band on hiatus. Bassist Greene left the group during the break and only the occasional show or digital single proved they were still around.
In 2016, Dressy Bessy returned with a new label, Yep Roc, and a new album, Kingsized. It featured appearances by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Wild Flag's Rebecca Cole, and indie rock jack-of-all-trades Scott McCaughey, and showed the band to be firmly back on track. Three years later, the group returned with Fast Faster Disaster, injecting even more confrontational punk energy into their melodic template. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi