It’s crazy to think, but The Dollyrots now have an impressive eight albums under their belt. All have shown an evolution for the wife and husband duet as they have transitioned from rebellious pop-punkers to, well, responsible pop-punkers. This has come in the form of their family life with their two children, and whilst their priorities may have changed slightly, they are still delivering some fun-filled records, and Night Owls could be considered their best to date.
The record still maintains a vibe that is undoubtedly all about fun but has some underlying aspects of maturity. This can be seen through several tracks, some more obvious than others, but they are there nonetheless.
Opening with the insanely catchy “5+5”. The tune steams straight into a short but fast drum beat that lasts only a couple of seconds before Kelly Ogden jumps in with her vocals that can only be described as adorable with a heavy sprinkling of attitude. It is an upbeat pop-punk spectacular that focuses heavily on Ogden’s relationship with bandmate and significant other, guitarist Luis Cabezas. It is an unconventional love song that will speak to anyone who has found their soulmate.
The title track of the record, “Night Owls,” can only be described as a hit in waiting. As you would expect from the Dollyrots, it is a sing-along, dance-educing joy of a tune that will wash away all negativity. It is so upbeat it could almost be marketed as a therapy aid! Following on is another fun-filled party tune, but this time for the moms out there not ready to give up their old life. This is one of the tunes alluded to earlier with a deeper meaning to it, with Ogden clearly highlighting that parenthood does not mean the end of fun.
“The Vow” is another tune that feels like a song directly aimed at the relationship between the two bandmates. Like almost every tune on this record, it is pop-punk gold, but the tune’s very nature focuses on how this pair feel about each other. As Ogden sings: “I love you, in sickness and in fun,” emphasizes how much love exists between them. If the listener can find the time to stop dancing and singing, this song may bring a real smile to their face and a tear to their eye.
The most outstanding song on Night Owls comes in the form of “Trees Sway.” The upbeat nature of the rest of the record is replaced by an acoustic guitar riff from Cabezas as Ogden delivers the most heart-filled, tear-jerking love letter to her partner in crime. At points throughout the song, the duet utilizes orchestral instruments to add incredible depth to this masterpiece of a tune. Ogden herself has admitted that she struggles to perform this song live due to tearing up, highlighting how meaningful “Trees Sway” is.
The record closes with an exceptional rendition of Kristy MacColl’s “A New England,” which acts as a perfect conclusion to a pop-punk record that breaks the mould of what fans of the genre expect whist ensuring it doesn’t stray too far away from what The Dollyrots do best. The sincerity of the song writing on display further highlights that Ogden and Cabezas deserve the highest levels of recognition possible.
For all things Dollyrots related, check out their website here.
Night Owls Track Listing:
2. I Just Wanna Play Dead
3. Night Owls
4. Hot Mom with the Skinny Pants On
5. When We’re Sober
6. Hey Girl
7. The Vow
8. Trees Sway
9. Tonight With You
10. Can’t Tell You Why
11. Irish Goodbye
12. A New England
Run Time: 40:16
Record label: Wicked Cool Records
Release Date: October 13, 2023