Since releasing a full-length debut, I Will Be, in March of 2010, Dum Dum Girls—for all intents and purposes the solo project of Dee Dee (a.k.a. Kristin Gundred)—has maintained a steady pace of new material: the He Gets Me High EP in the spring of 2011, the Only In Dreams full-length later that year, and now End Of Daze, a five-song EP.
The title can be taken literally: The sudden illness and death of Gundred’s mother hung heavily over Only In Dreams, and End Of Daze seems to emerge from the potent grief that followed. The accompanying press materials describe “Season In Hell”—the EP’s standout final track—as a “joyful closing of the book on past pains,” and the lyrics back that up. Over an especially driving beat and chiming guitars, Gundred sings, “A season in hell / But doesn’t the dawn look divine? / Lift your gaze / It’s the end of daze.” (The opening guitar notes even sound like “Lean On Me.”) The EP opens in more traditional Dum Dum Girls territory with “Mine Tonight,” a dreamy, slowly paced yearner that’s of a piece with the mortality of Only In Dreams: “I’ve dreamed a death / It’s mine tonight.”
The disparity between “Mine Tonight” and “Season In Hell” probably owes much to the passage of time. Dum Dum Girls recorded the first three songs (“Mine Tonight,” “I Got Nothing,” and a cover of Strawberry Switchblade’s “Trees And Flowers”) in 2011, but “Lord Knows” and “Season In Hell” this year. “It was a bit of a disjointed process to have so much time pass between the recording of the first three songs and then the last two,” Gundred wrote on the band’s website, “but to me at least, it all fits together and sounds exactly like the trip it was.”
As Gundred is likely learning, the grief from losing a loved one never quite goes away—it just becomes more manageable and familiar. But End Of Daze finds Gundred—and Dum Dum Girls—in a good place.