DOTT'S SECOND album has been a long time coming, but not only has it been worth the wait, it is also everything you want a follow-up to be, and everything you need it to be.
Heart Swell retains the vocal harmony driven indie-pop and garage/punk fusion of Swoon, but here, in both scope and execution, the elements flow together much more smoothly (witness 'Not Sorry', 'How Do I Feel', 'U Don't Have 2' ), and the overall effect are songs and performances that are more confident, more assured, and more ambitious.
While Dott retain the sound with which they introduced themselves, and which made them so attractive to begin with, Heart Swell also finds scope to introduce new elements, which both complement and expand their sonic template. The title track has a Krautrock vibe with its insistent beat and atmospherics, while elements of psychedelia and dream pop are also apparent ('Swim' ) - all hinting at interesting possible future directions.
There is also an emotional vulnerability and sense of melancholy throughout many of these songs ('18' ), counterbalanced with a strong sense of defiance, as on 'Wedding Song' ("We don't need a church, and we don't need a steeple" ), and feminist anthem 'Like A Girl' ("What they didn't expect when push came to shove..." - a point hammered home by its pro-choice video, but yet, with enough to say to live beyond the moment of the Eighth Referendum ). For the band, and for vocalist/songwriter Anna McCarthy in particular, Heart Swell is Dott's finest hour to date.