Dressy Bessy Take The Music Out Of The Bedroom

With debut EP and upcoming album, lo-fi foursome is issuing homemade songs to the world at large.

When Dressy Bessy leader Tammy Ealom first started gathering riffs and hooks on a

four-track tape recorder in her Denver apartment, she didn't know what was going to

come of her swelling catalog of music, or even who was going to play it.

After several combinations of musicians fell flat, the singer/guitarist enlisted her

boyfriend, guitarist John Hill of another local pop band, Apples In Stereo, and a pair of

Staten Island, N.Y., transplants: drummer Darren Albert and bassist Rob Greene.

The result is her limited-edition debut EP, You Stand Here.

"I wasn't in it from the very beginning; I was just kind-of helping her out," the 31-year-old

Hill said. "It was pretty obvious she needed her own band ... she was bandleader

material."

Ealom, 29, still writes and records in her bedroom. But with the recent release of You

Stand Here and a full-length album, Pink Hearts and Yellow Moons, coming

early next year, audiences outside the immediate vicinity of Ealom's apartment now have

a chance to hear Dressy Bessy's distinctive, lo-fi sound.

What awaits those listeners is "something that's kind-of upbeat," Hill said. "We want it to

be a little rocking, a little groovy, a little catchy -- all that stuff."

Issued in a black-velvet pocket with blue stitching down the sides, the EP depicts on its

cover what appears to be a blue, attention-starved, stick-figure girl wearing a dress with

multi-colored stars and waving her uneven arms.

Sounding as if they were channeling the energy radiating from the gawky figure on the

cover of the seven-song EP, Dressy Bessy flounce through tracks as different as the

hyper

"Extra-Ordinary" (RealAudio excerpt) and the pushy

href="http://www.addict.com/music/Dressy_Bessy/You_Stand_Here.ram">"You Stand

Here" (RealAudio excerpt) with equal ease.

It's a band that sounds comfortably tuned-in to the musical conceptions of the

frontwoman. But there was a time, back in her early composing-in-the-bedroom days,

when there was no band.

"We just sort-of played around with a few different people, but we never could find the

right people," Hill remembered. "Tammy met Darren at a record store, a week later we

played with him and now, two years later, we're a pretty happy band."

But that won't change the way Ealom goes about writing her music. Sitting on the edge

of her bed with an unplugged electric guitar in hand and a four-track machine rolling, she

hammers out rhythm-guitar parts and melodies for future tracks.

"Usually, when John's out of town with the

Apples, I'm bored and here by myself, and I

just sit around and f--- around on a four-

track," Ealom said (interview excerpt). "Then

I present [the songs] to the band and we'll

work them out. Sometimes three songs turn

into two songs, or sometimes three songs will

turn into no songs," she admitted, laughing.

Short pop-sketches, such as "Princess" -- in which she takes her frustrations with a friend

of the band and wraps them around a deceptively cheery melody -- typify Ealom's lyrical

approach.

"Most of the songs are about people. They're about my acquaintances and friends

definitely," Ealom said. "['Princess'] is about a bratty girl who's trying to come around.

She's working on not being so snotty and bratty and all that. She's very aware of it; she

just can't

href="http://www.addict.com/interview/Dressy_Bessy/Ealmon_On_Princess.ram">do

much about it" (interview excerpt).

With a full-length album recorded and ready for release, Hill and Ealom said they feel

certain of the direction the quartet's headed in.

"We're really just trying to capture the band. It's pretty much how the live band is more or

less," Hill said. "We're not afraid to rock."

"Rock is not a dirty word," Ealom chimed in, with Hill completing the thought: "Although it

seems to be with a lot of people we run across."