Dum Dum Girls, ‘Only in Dreams’ (Sub Pop)
Much as the Smiths cobbled together glam, Motown, and kitchen-sink drama into a pocketful of Britpop gladiolas, so Kristen “Dee Dee” Gundred and her band draw inspiration from previous rock eras to mint something fresh ‘n’ fuzzy. (No wonder last year’s nervy cover of “The Light That Never Goes Out” was so sharp.) They’re the Phil and Ronnie Chain, putting the girl group in goth-pop. Gundred’s richer-than-you-expect voice is the key to these jagged little pillows, whether dryly noting that a guy’s “Just a Creep,” soaring on “Coming Down,” or lacing her echoes with sorrow on “Hold Your Hand,” a reflection on her mother’s passing.