Dee Dee Penny’s Dum Dum Girls project began in earnest, staking a claim on lo-fi pop songs unable to keep up their breakneck pace for longer than three minutes. In the early stages, Penny’s voice cut through the static like a dull knife; too soft to stake its own claim but far too sharp to embrace. As the song lengths reached for more ambitious heights, her voice settled into melancholic croon, channeling the spirit of the girl-pop past she often idealized. This settling in after such a momentous early pace made perfect sense. The growing pains that were the subject of so many songs were essentially avoided.
New single “Lost Boys and Girls Club” attempts to find harmony between these disparate strains. Every one of Penny’s lines leisurely spills forth, frequently bleeding into one another until a beginning and end is impossible to pinpoint. Guitars don’t chug along (as they used to), but slowly churn in a dark cauldron. The drum part never rights itself from a lumbering pace. Swipes of synthesizer (a newcomer to the band’s insular world) color the track a hazy grey, making Penny’s forlorn state a few shades darker in the process. All of this hints at a broodier Dum Dum Girls, lingering like never before. Almost as a callback to that bracing past, “Lost Boys and Girls Club” ends after a scant two minutes. Some things never change.