Dilly Dally | Be­he­moth

Growth, De­cay, Trans­for­ma­tion

Exclaim! - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Ava Muir

KATIE MONKS AND HER FRIENDS WERE WATCH­ING AL­MOST FA­MOUS, CAMERON CROWE’S FILM about fic­ti­tious ’70s rock­ers Still­wa­ter, when the line jumped out at her. “Where does this real world be­gin and end for you?” teenage jour­nal­ist Wil­liam Miller asks lead singer Rus­sell Ham­mond.

“I re­ally get that, be­cause there’s some­thing about it that feels like an il­lu­sion,” Monks says. “It’s that space be­tween where the fan sees you and how things ac­tu­ally are, and it’s iso­lat­ing.”

The re­lease of Sore, Dilly Dally’s blis­ter­ing de­but, cat­a­pulted the singer-gui­tarist and her three band­mates (gui­tarist Liz Ball, bassist Jimmy Tony and drum­mer Ben­jamin Rein­hartz) from one of Toronto’s best-kept se­crets to in­ter­na­tional no­to­ri­ety. Re­lent­less tour­ing gained the group a diehard fol­low­ing, who screamed Monks’ raw lyrics about fem­i­nism and the uni­ver­sal­ity of be­ing on your pe­riod back at her. “It wasn’t like we eased our way into it — it was just kind of night and day,” she says. “It felt like our lives changed overnight.”

As Dilly Dally’s suc­cess grew, so did ten­sions within the band. The four-piece were drained and made the con­scious de­ci­sion to step out of the spot­light so that they could lick their wounds in pri­vate. At home, in the bed­room of her Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket apart­ment, Monks be­gan to make sense of her strug­gles through song­writ­ing, and Heaven rose from the ashes.

By pri­or­i­tiz­ing them­selves over de­mand­ing sched­ules and out­side pres­sures, Dilly Dally were able to craft a ma­ture sopho­more record that height­ens their deaf­en­ing vol­ume and edge, while tack­ling crit­i­cal themes of self-love, friend­ship and so­bri­ety.

“I think [ Heaven] seeks to ac­knowl­edge that pain, if some­one’s strug­gling with de­pres­sion or some form of sad­ness or grief, and then pro­vide tools that I have found re­ally help­ful,” Monks ex­plains. “It’s just a gen­tle whis­per of like, ‘Here are some men­tal spa­ces that I’ve been in in the last year that helped me kind of come into my own again.’”

Laced with af­firm­ing mes­sages that could sound trite if they weren’t be­ing spewed from Monks with such ve­he­mence, Heaven soars with new­found strength.

Tak­ing time away from Dilly Dally also al­lowed Monks to strengthen re­la­tion­ships that were sep­a­rate from the band. “You have to go ‘Okay, I’ve been lean­ing on these peo­ple pretty heav­ily in my life, and now it’s time for me to lean back on my other friends,’” she ex­plains. “That’s why it’s so im­por­tant for me to have Toronto in my back pocket, be­cause the foun­da­tion I have here is just un­be­liev­able. It’s so cozy.”

As Dilly Dally em­bark on shar­ing Heaven with the world, Monks looks back on the pos­i­tives of their first al­bum. “Once [ Sore] came out, it was re­ally beau­ti­ful to see ev­ery­one ac­cept us with such open arms,” she re­calls. “I’m hop­ing that [ Heaven] kind of has those open arms widened even more.”

It wasn’t like we eased our way in. It felt like our lives changed overnight.”

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