Masstransfer << Rewind: Dallas

This article was originally published in the third issue of Masstransfer, 1999.

Many circumstances inspire people to start a band. For Dallas, it was the ability to actually perform music after 50 years of Soviet domination in their homeland of Estonia. Having been isolated for so long, this group has ridden the explosion of musical elements both native and imported. Formed in 1992 to contribute a track to an Estonian Independence compilation, Dallas has since become the darlings of the scene in Tallinn (capital of Estonia), although certain music charts label them as imports due to their English lyrics and general western flavor. Having been compared to early Cardigans, Stereolab, Pram, etc, this group of spunky youths prove themselves as musically independent as their homeland. They recently found a home on Toronto’s High Park Records, and their debut full-length CD was released in North America earlier this year.

To help promote the CD, Dallas has played numerous festivals in the US and Canada, including NXNE in Toronto, and CMJ in New York. Each time they were greeted with enthusiastic audiences and rave reviews. It’s no surprise. For anyone who’s heard the CD, it’s instantly endearing. The driving force is vocalist Kristi Kindel, and she’s steering a rhythmic and melodic machine, built on strong bass and drums, with a beautiful finish of guitars and keyboards. The songs jump right out at you and grab your attention, each one an interesting journey from beginning to end. Tracks range from pure pop (the very excellent “Teenadelic”, which I can listen to about 10 times in a row without hesitation) to melancholic moods (“She’s A Star”) and even a bit of pre-millennial angst (“Sleeper’s Entertainer”). The kicker is the last song “Intro”, a bit of spaced-out surf samba.

Their familiar sound will draw you in, but you soon realize Dallas are in their own musical world. If you happen to see this product on a store shelf, pick it up and listen – you won’t be disappointed!