Dirtie Blonde was a female-fronted American pop/rock band from Stamford, CT, by way of New York City, NY and Los Angeles, CA. The band was founded by Amie Miriello (vocals) and Jay Dmuchowski (guitar) in 2005, with Sean Kipe (guitar), Dean Moore (bass) and Tim Perez (drums). Dirtie Blonde released their self-titled debut on Jive Records in 2006, which yielded the minor hit single “Walk Over Me”. They disbanded in 2007, and Amie Miriello released a solo album, I Came Around, also on Jive Records, in 2008. Shortly after, Miriello began a new project with her friend Jay Dmuchowski, and, the result, eventually, was their new Los Angeles-based band SO & SO, with Brandon Rogers (vocals/keys), Bana Haffar (bass) and Adam Hanson (drums). The band’s debut album, Ready, was released in 2012.
Amie Miriello, in all of her projects, sings like a pop diva stuck in a rock band, and, her voice sounds a little like Alanis Morissette‘s jagged little whines mixed with a touch of Juliet Simms‘ rasp. Her distinctive voice is good, for sure, but, Miriello is also an excellent songwriter. Dirtie Blonde‘s debut and Miriello’s solo album are both overlooked gems, and SO & SO‘s debut will undoubtedly be as well, if it doesn’t become the mainstream success it deserves. SO & SO will get their own post, eventually.
Dirtie Blonde (2006) was, obviously, anchored by the band’s minor hit single “Walk Over Me”, but, all the other tracks should’ve been hit singles in a perfect pop/rock world. “Hard Times” would’ve been a good second single, followed by the soulful ballad “Officially In Love”. Other good choices are “Outta My Bed” (whose riff is so familiar but I can’t place it!), the P!nk-ish “What You Want”, the Sheryl Crow-esque “Change the Water”, and another soulful, R&B-ish ballad “Karma Boy”. But, my favorite tracks are “Shut Up”, which is one of the best songs that Gregg Alexander never wrote (I can hear Danielle Brisebois singing this!), and “Lonely”, which hints at the direction Amie Miriello would take on her excellent solo album.
I Came Around (2008) is a better album than Dirtie Blonde‘s debut. The songs seem more personal, more sincere, and Miriello’s diva-ish vocals are, mostly, restrained. Many of the tracks begin, softly, with acoustic guitar and/or piano, but, then, erupt into anthemic choruses dripping with heartfelt emotion. “Pictures”, a favorite track, is the best of these, but, again, every song on this album is a hit single that never was. The breezy “Coldfront” was co-written with accomplished songwriter Kara DioGuardi, but Miriello doesn’t really need the help. Just listen to the sadly beautiful “Snow” for proof. Other good tracks, here, are the Coldplay-esque “Beauty of Goodbye”, “Mother Cries Wolf”, and “Who You Really Are”. The album closes wonderfully with “Hey”, another one of Miriello’s excellent soulful ballads.
Watch the video for Amie Miriello‘s diva-esque “Brand New” here:
2006 – Dirtie Blonde (Jive Records) [Album]
Amie Miriello (Solo) Discography
2008 – I Came Around (Jive Records) [Album]