Songs Of The Day 1/30/2016: Dolly Mixture – “How Come You’re Such a Hit With the Boys, Jane” + “Never Mind Sundays” + “Grass Is Greener”

The dolly mixture is a candy assortment that's been popular in England for a long time. The primary component of the mixture is a dual-colored combination of two fondants, either side-by-side in cube form or one wrapped around the other in cylindrical form. Texturally you could compare it to taffy and licorice, or maybe marzipan. The dolly mixture tosses those candies in with frosted gumdrops or jellies, or if you want to be heretical, Gummi Bears. The term "dolly mixture" is known to date back to at least the 1920's. The most logical etymological explanation is the candy's visual similarity to dahl, the Indian legume dish that commonly mixes beans, lentils and peas with chickpeas, spinach or any number of add-ins. The dolly mixture was a colorful, creamy and tasty antidote to the ashen pallor and industrial decrepitude of a British winter.

Dolly Mixture was also a band from Cambridge, England: Debsey Wykes, Rachel Bor and Hester Smith. (I was just lamenting the demise of the name "Hester" the other day.) Even with all their great songs, and they've plenty, they probably achieved more fame as the backup singers for Captain Sensible's European hits "Happy Talk" and "Wot." I came upon their work last week when I was preparing Mixtape #17 (Feb. 20). They had a lot of things going on: throwbacks to 60's girl groups, moderately sped-up melodic post-punk, a sort of localized gait and texture that predates Belle & Sebastian. Today's songs all come from their self-released double album anthology Demonstration Tapes, which Wikipedia actually labels "Dolly's Double Nickels on the Dime." More correct than Sketches of Spain or The Wall, we suppose.
A typical dolly mixture.

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