Inspired by female punk and R&B with a glossy sheen, Kristin Kontrol selects music from the icons who influence her own synth pop sound.
Throughout the ’00s, Kristin Welchez was known as Dee Dee – the lead singer, song-writer and guitarist of Dum Dum Girls, an all-female noir-pop band whose retro vocal harmonies and lo-fi guitar riffs merged a ’60s girl group aesthetic with New York proto-punk and contemporary indie pop. After spending nearly a decade on Sub Pop records with the band, releasing three albums, four EPs and numerous singles, Dee Dee shed her alt-rocker skin in 2015 to work on solo material under the name Kristin Kontrol. Harking back to her young loves of bombastic ’80s pop songs and sleek ’90s R&B harmonies, the Kristin Kontrol project puts down the guitar and picks up the keyboard to focus on a blend of new wave, cosmic disco and electronic pop, re-figuring herself as aesthetically more severe and dancefloor-orientated than her previous work. After encouragement from record producer Richard Gottehrer, who worked with her on the Dum Dum Girls records but also with the likes of Blondie and Richard Hell, Kristin Kontrol released her debut solo album, X-Communicate, on Sub Pop in 2016 – self-assured love songs, played with sharp shoulders and a wry pout.