BOSTON/NE BANDS, Hassle Fest

What’s going on with Mini Dresses?

Indie pop band to perform at Hassle Fest 10 after months-long hiatus

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Lo-fi indie pop band Mini Dresses released their debut self-titled LP in September.

Mini Dresses is one of the bands that will be playing Hassle Fest 10 on Nov. 9. Read more below.

When we talked to the founding members of indie pop band Mini Dresses over the summer, they were in the middle of some big changes. Bandmates and partners Lira Mondal (bass/vocals) and Caufield Schnug (guitar) had been planning to move to Philadelphia for some time, due to the rising rents in Somerville. But then at the last minute, Mondal received a promotion at her job, and was named head pastry chef at Bistro du Midi on Boylston Street. Instead of moving to Philadelphia, the couple moved to the Back Bay. In a recent interview, Schnug said things have been going smoothly at their new apartment.

“All’s well,” said Schnug in a recent phone interview. “We settled in.”

Mini Dresses, which also include drummer Luke Reed, have a lot of new music under wraps. Their second album is ready to go, and they’re hoping to release it early next year.

“It’s recorded, mixed and mastered,” said Schnug. “We’re still trying to figure out the details of the release, and the track sequencing and all of that.”

Most of the album was recorded at Schnug and Mondal’s apartment, as well as in recording studios.

“Sometimes we work with studios, because it’s just too hard to capture drum sounds in an apartment,” said Schnug. “This is our first album with a lot of drum machines, because it’s been kind of hard to do the choreography of finding space, time and money, resources to record drums — so we’re kind of being creative with it.”

Schnug said the new album has been “a point of pride” for him and Mondal, since it’s very DIY.

“We kind of do our own mixing, for example, and we do a lot of our own overdubs at home,” he said.

The process for this upcoming album was a bit more laid back than their self-titled 2017 debut, according to Schnug.

“It’s been a more spontaneous and less militant process this time around,” he said. “The first album was absolutely militant. We had so many rules and things were so structured, and… it was just remarkably consistent.”

But Mini Dresses’ sensibilities are still intact. There are still themes of “dreaming” and “approaching moments of breakdown” on the upcoming release.

“Usually the songs narrate a kind of fantasy space,” said Schnug.

Mini Dresses will be playing some new tracks when they perform in Hassle Fest 10 at Lilypad on Friday, Nov. 9 from 11-11:40 p.m. The full lineup includes Sweetcreem (7:30-8 p.m.), Funeral Advantage (8:15-8:50 p.m.), Beverly Tender (9:05-9:45 p.m.), Old Wave (10-10:40 p.m.), Mini Dresses (11-11:40 p.m.) and Lily and Horn Horse (midnight to 1 a.m.).   

“That’s gonna be an awesome show, and it will be our first one in a long time,” said Schnug. “The recording projects just had us kind of sitting on the sidelines as far as gigs go, for the past three months … so it will be exciting to get out again.”

In addition to finalizing the next Mini Dresses album, Schnug and Mondal have also been working on songs with guitarist Jim Leonard and drummer Travis Hagan in a yet-to-be-named goth punk band, according to Schnug.

“We have a new EP for that, and Lira and I are also part of new recording projects that will not be linked to our identities,” said Schnug.

Even though none of the new music has officially been released yet, Schnug said that he and Mondal have had quite a productive musical year.

“We’ve been, not dormant, but secretive,” said Schnug. “We actually are in the most productive epoch of Mini Dresses and our projects too.”

Tickets to see the full lineup of bands at Lilypad on Nov. 9 are $15 at the door. Lilypad is located at 353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. Learn more about the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/249455105913151/. Learn more about Hassle Fest at http://bostonhasslefest.com.

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