"We just woke up one day and all of a sudden we were a five-piece and I was like, 'Whoa. I think this is getting good.'" So says Dirty Mittens frontwoman Chelsea Morrisey on the band's rapid growth from an uneven trio to a extravagant and fun-loving exercise in pop music done right. The early days of the Mittens portrayed a band with ample room to grow, another well-intentioned act with endless potential, but rudderless in the pop music waters.
"I think we were limited by the fact that we were a three-piece," explains Morrisey. "Our idea has always been to infuse elements of doo-wop and dance-pop, but not having a bass player was a little bit of a problem. I don't think we knew what we were doing, necessarily. When we added a bass player it was an epiphany; it became clear what direction we wanted to follow."
That direction is toward a tastefully vintage brand of pop music, complete with playful horns, an abundance of hand claps, and the sweet chirping voice of Morrisey at the center of it all. With a new five-song EP entitled Pinky Swear, the group has finally hit their stride, bringing to mind the pop-genius ambitions of Jens Lekman alongside enough bedroom twee to warm even the coldest of hearts.
"I think Jens Lekman was sort of a turning point for us," Morrisey says in regard to the orchestrated Swedish pop singer, but Lekman is not her sole influence. "I spend most of my days listening to soul music. It reminds you that horns play a big part in the melodies of a song."
It's an influence which is paramount during Pinky Swear's proudest moment, the stylish "Time Forgiver," which evolves from quaint indie-pop ball-ad—complete with finger-snaps and lyrics about the chill of "Swedish winters"—into a raucous, soulful, horn-thick party jam. It's a wondrous moment that gracefully captures a once-modest band on their glorious rise to the ambitious heights of pop music. It's a thing of beauty, really.
Dirty Mittens celebrate the release of Pinky Swear at the Someday Lounge on Sunday, July 20.