Dott, “Small Pony”

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There's no telling what is in the water in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, but I'm starting to believe that it could just be concentrated with sugar. Whether you're a fan of the green isles' special brand of shiny guitarpop or not, Dott is a band that astutely turns that inherent sweetness into a melee of crunchy guitars, masterful breakdowns, and deliberate “oo”s and “ahh”s that don't put the song too far into pop territory. Frontwoman Anna McCarthy isn't afraid of her super-shiny voice and its femininity—instead, she uses it to break through the gravel and add some sunny melodies to an otherwise tense track. “Small Pony” encompasses what its album cover manifests—a woman with the fierceness of a wolf, but maybe something left to hide.

Swoon, Dott's debut record, will release through Graveface Records on December 3.