UTG INTERVIEW: Party Dolls Talk ‘Love Wars Baby’

Party Dolls Love Wars Baby EP

Party Dolls is an Atlanta-based indie rock group that just delivered its tantalizing debut release, Love Wars Baby. Full of a downright impressive singer-songwriter integrity, mixed in with a bit of traditional pop notions, Love Wars Baby is a record reflecting a craft of songwriting that has long since been forgotten in contemporary music. Tracks such as “Vampire” and “You Let Me Know,” show southern seduction, while numbers such as “Kindly Leave,” and “Love Wars Baby” are overtly catchy and melodic.

We had a chance to catch up with with Party Dolls brainchild Drew Beskin to chat about the new record, the conception of the band, and the future plans for Party Dolls.

What’s up, Drew? Thanks for taking the time to chat today. Party Dolls is a self-proclaimed “semi-obscure” supergroup. Explain to us what this means.

Hey, of course! Party Dolls features members from my first band, The District Attorneys, as well as members of Tedo Stone, Crooked Fingers, and a few other players who are known around Athens, GA for playing in various bands. I call it a supergroup because I love all the bands and musicians involved, but it’s semi-obscure because The District Attorneys and Tedo Stones are not household names even though I predict Tedo Stone will be very soon. The current live lineup of Party Dolls includes a member of Janelle Monae’s band — we seem to be constantly growing, which is fun.

Why did you decide to dive into this new project?

The District Attorneys were invited to play with [the band] Ponderosa for a Valentine’s Day show a year ago but unfortunately—or fortunately—only half of the members were able to do the gig. I’d been writing a lot in that time and had a half-baked idea to start a new project and debut it at this show. I reached out to my friends and asked if they were interested in learning 10 new songs, starting a new band in a month’s time and playing this show. They agreed, and from that Party Dolls was born. I half expected everyone to tell me to buzz off, but they liked the songs and the idea.

Love Wars Baby has been out for a bit now. How does it feel to finally have the record released?

It feels great to have a record out that I’m extremely proud of. There was no deadline or any sort of demand for this project so it was really just me and Frank [Keith IV, bassist and engineer/producer of the record] going back and forth, casually working on it for a year. I am happy that it met our expectations and now I can focus on the next project.

How has reception been?

From what I’ve seen, people seem to really like it. We’ve had a lot of press attention, which has been nice. Everyone involved with the record is happy, and that’s the most important part. My mom also likes it, so we did something right.

Talk to me about the record. Which number sticks out most to you?

Every song on there is important to me. I was really happy with how “Indigo” turned out. It was my first duet [with singer Kathryn Boyd]. “Vampire” is the best sounding song on the album in my opinion. I loved how “A Firecracker” turned out since it was recorded in Tedo’s bathroom with me tapping my foot. I have very strong memories of writing “You Let Me Know,” “I’m Not the One You Love,” “After June,” and “Sides.” “Sides” was a very slow acoustic song that turned into one of the more upbeat songs on the record.

Is there a track you’re most excited to play live off of this record?

“Vampire” is very fun to play live. We’ve really started to extend that one and let it breathe. It’s fun to rock that song out, especially since it’s such a breezy acoustic song on the record. I love playing “Indigo” live, too.

Having experience with different acts, what mentality did you have going into the studio for this record?

With Party Dolls, it was easy because the whole concept of the record and the 10 songs was about one thing so it was easy to get into that mindset. But there was no pressure to make this record. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to get this record out, and I wanted it to be through a fresh moniker.

What’s the rest of 2014 look like?

We have a few Party Dolls shows coming up, and then hopefully we’ll be going back into the studio to work on a new record with The District Attorneys, among other recording projects. I’ve also written songs for a friend’s screenplay that I want to record ASAP. I can’t wait to get back into the studio.

Purchase Love Wars Baby today.

Written and conducted by Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)

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