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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Minneapolis-Based Dilly Dally Alley Drop Their Debut Funk, Jazz, & Neo-Soul Album 'Make You Whole'

Dilly Dally Alley was formed with the intent of eternally seeking out the perfect groove, as well as repairing and re-embodying communal spaces that dissolved from the pandemic. The tunes from Make You Whole are meant to be interacted with live. Crowd games and raucous nonsense are all integral to the celebration of this music. Having been described by press as “a hoot of horns, a fire of funk, and just what the neosoul needed,” Dilly hopes their community organizing taps into human universals that inspire audiences to care for their communities, their biomes, and their world. Make You Whole is jam-packed with infectious grooves and upbeat shuffles, but its lyrics also dig into what vulnerable little comforts we can rest in during turbulent and difficult times. It grapples with different strands of rejection (of the queer self, of one's own trauma, of the forces of our planet, of our loved ones), how our brokenness after rejection can form a patchwork of strength and wisdom, and how our beauty lies in the fibers of this vulnerability. Especially when you’re dancing to these tunes about it.

These tracks stem from the neo-soul and indie-funk genre, but they also have a densely-arranged depth that sometimes doesn't like to take on any style. Founder and lead singer, Sophia Spiegel, originally prepared these tunes for her three beloved bandmates - Will Kjeer (keys), Maxwell Voda (bass), and Kevin Yetter (drums). They performed all these tracks as a four piece band over the summer of '22 until entering the studio. Spiegel then decided to write in horn parts over their recorded tracks in the hopes of setting this music aflame. These parts were performed by two more beloved new mates, Ivan Cunningham and Mitch Van Laar. Spiegel later added string parts for many of the tunes with just her cello in her room. Recording engineer and coproducer, Adam Tucker, then added a whole new dimension of auxiliary percussive flair, particularly heard in "See How She Moves" and "They Say The Heart Can't Break". At times, he would pan a shaker or a bongo back and forth to give the listener a "spinning" effect. This album also features loon calls, crickets, thunder, crashing waves, cicadas, and other ambient respites, all influential sounds for Spiegel when writing this music.


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