See Through Dresses – Google the band with caution, kick back to their music for something much more delightful. Sweet, dreamy vocals paired with moody, youthful grunge are just some of the elements comprising this post punk, dream pop band’s music. The Nebraska band plays “everything from rock, punk, metal, [to] folk”, lead singer Matthew Carroll explained to New Noise in a 2016 interview. Navigating towards a more laid back sound, See Through Dresses are dreamier than ever on their second full length album, Horse of the Other World.
The opening track, “Diamonds”, delivers a wall of sound from start to end thanks to broad synths and deep, vaporwave like drums. Matt Carroll’s cloudy, reverbed vocals and poetic, strung out lyrics mix wonderfully with a distant guitar to make for one of the most far out and abstract tracks on the project. Tracks “Violet” and “Shelley” with their soaring guitars and retro feel best showcase the band’s developed signature style. Despite maintaining their old style, this album is largely a departure from the noisy guitars the band would previously like to include. The sunny, upbeat nature of “Radiant Boy” contrasts greatly with the somber lyrics, making for a great love song. “Pretty Police” is sweet and danceable, while “Light In August” features winding and soaring synths, all maintaining the band’s shoegaze style.
Sara Bertuldo’s vocals are extra sweet on “Herbivore”, making for one of our favorite tracks, but then the band relay one of their sleepiest efforts on “Catacombs”. Crisp, wooden knocks, combined with an almost piercing guitar and keyboard at the end of the song don’t do much to redeem the overall lack of energy. A similar moment happens on the final and cover track, where one of the slowest songs on the project ends with a hyper upbeat, almost siren like pickup, and these moments just tend to feel uninspired. The band often builds to a climax in their music, and they do so brilliantly on the album’s most aggressive track, “Lucy’s Arm”. The only song on Horse of the Other World to be co-written by both vocalists, the duo make for noticeably more progressive, detailed songwriting, and the climax makes for one of the most lively moments on the record.
See Through Dresses’ have certainly grown since their 2012 formation. As vocalist Matt Carroll puts it, “It’s more about fitting together in the arrangement and playing off each other than being entirely technically sound.” With the band working and touring together for several years now, the chemistry they’ve built results in a given unity, a unison that shows in their music. From the band’s debut album to their End of Days EP, We’ve seen the band transform from anxious, punk, young adults to the chilled out group and project they resemble now. Conveying a satisfying progression from previous material, See Through Dresses provide a clean, smooth sound with some of their deepest and most intriguing work to date, despite at times not being the most eventful.