Review by Caitlin Webb
Self-described punk witches Dream Nails are a band who put their money where their mouth is in terms of their activism. They were vital performers in last year’s Solidarity Not Silence benefit concert in aid of women sued for making allegations of sexual misconduct, and their chant of “all the women and non-binary people, come to the front” is a staple of their live shows. Now, giving corporations like Spotify the middle finger for their lack of financial support towards DIY artists, Dream Nails’ latest album is independent to its core. Acoustic versions of their raw vibrant tracks are now available on Bandcamp in their ‘Take Up Space!’ record.
After a playfully chatty introduction, drummer Lucy’s roll leads into the vibrant empowerment anthem of ‘Landlady’. Frontwoman Janey sweetly delivers defiant messages of self-confidence and independence with witty metaphors on the level of their previous singles like ‘Tourist’. This record is also home to some of their most beloved singles, including the aforementioned ‘Tourist’ and concluding single ‘Deep Heat’, which has all the ferocity and sass of its delivery on a live stage but feels even more intimate. Hearing the audience participate on tracks like this, as well as their clicking along on ‘Cookies 4 U’, makes for an unexpectedly immersive experience that puts you directly in the welcoming and supportive crowds that Dream Nails conjure on a regular basis.
As well as revamping some of their singles, the album is also the first chance to hear some of their biggest live successes like ‘Jillian’ and ‘Time Ain’t No Healer’ at your fingertips. A personal favourite of mine from their live sets, ‘Jillian’ becomes a folksy trip into the art of fangirling. The harmonies are still slick, the lyrics are still an absolute delight, and it’s so clear how much fun they’re all having with it, particularly in Janey’s vocal performance. The raucous attitude Dream Nails are known for, their exposure of every emotion without ever apologising for it, and their potent chemistry never seem to waver.