Friday, September 4, 2020

Duff Review: The Dreamlets "Sunny" b/w "My Heart is Crying"!

Happy People Records
Pink or black vinyl single/digital

(Review by Steve Shafer)

I've been hearing about the brilliant Japanese rocksteady female vocal trio The Dreamlets for ages, but have found it quite difficult to acquire any of their music, even though they've been releasing singles and EPs since 1996. Either the record is out of print or commanding astronomical prices on Discogs. And, apart from their 2001 Ready Rocksteady Go EP on Germany's Brutus Records and  2003 "My Boy Lollipop" single on Gaz's Rockin' Records, The Dreamlets haven't released anything else outside of Japan--until now. Sean Flowerdew's Happy People Records is issuing a limited-edition single featuring two choice cuts from The Dreamlet's back catalogue: "Sunny," which appeared on their 2004 Moon Beat 45 and "My Heart is Crying," the B-side to their "Destiny" 2004 Moon Beat single. "Sunny" is a gorgeously sad version of Bobby Hebb's 1966 soul-jazz hit, written in response to both national and personal tragedy--JFK's assassination and the fatal stabbing of Hebb's older brother Harold. Yet, instead of being knee-capped by loss and grief, Hebb finds strength and inspiration in their memory: "Sunny, yesterday, oh, my life was filled with rain/Sunny, you smiled at me and really, really eased the pain/Now the dark days are done, and the bright days are here/My Sunny, one shines so sincere/Sunny one so true, I love you." "My Heart Is Crying" is (from what I can tell) an incredible original vintage-style rocksteady track full of intense longing and desire. This one's a bit pricey if you're outside of the UK, but worth every cent and more.

Also of note, Happy People Records is issuing two other very intriguing singles--The Loving Paupers' "And the Piano's Playing" b/w "Enemy of History" (both from their superb debut LP Lines) and Capitol 1212 featuring Earl 16 covering Joy Division's "Love with Tear Us Apart" b/w "Dub Will Tear Us Apart" (the incredible vocal cut is from the 2018 Scotch Bonnet comp Puffer's Choice, Volume 2, while the dub is exclusive to this single). All of these singles will go quickly.

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