Music News

Dollhouse Thieves' New Single Was Inspired by a Pregnancy Test at a Party

The Dollhouse Thieves
The Dollhouse Thieves Kenzi Everitt
A few years back, the Dollhouse Thieves’ Niki Tredinnick had been trying unsuccessfully for about a year to get pregnant. It was a frustrating time, and when she finally suspected she might be pregnant, she was at a house party. Tredinnick had really felt like drinking a beer with friends that night, too, so she did what any reasonable person would do: ran out, bought a pregnancy test and then came back to the party.

“That’s how awkward I am,” she jokes. “I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go take a test at my friend’s house, no big deal.' I’d been trying for a year at that point. It was for my own peace of mind.”

Because the cruel universe loves to throw curveballs to the anxious, the second line on the pregnancy test came back faint, more of a maybe than a positive result. Tredinnick says it gave her a sense of hope, but hope can be a real bastard of an emotion, particularly for someone with a nervous disposition. Questions began to follow in rapid fire: Am I actually pregnant? What if I am? Will I be a good parent?

“It was incredibly upsetting to me, because I didn’t know if I could have a kid or not,” she recalls. “When it was...a faint line, I’m already kind of an anxious personality, and that was very anxiety-inducing.”

For the record, yes, Tredinnick was pregnant, and she and her husband/bandmate Luke are currently raising a three-year-old. The anxious evening also inspired the Dollhouse Thieves’ latest single, “Faint Line,” which will be released on streaming platforms Friday, August 12, and celebrated with an adult-prom-themed show at Lost Lake Lounge the same night.

“I just kind of sat down and started talking about that situation, and that’s how it happened,” she says of the writing process. “It took me about ten minutes.”

The song sat for a couple of years unproduced, and when the Tredinnicks and their fellow Dollhouse Thieves — Jacy James Anderson, Stephen Dexter Bott and Ryan Self — set about recording it, they decided to make the track sound like a movie score. That type of dramatic music has always struck an emotional chord with Treddinick, and the single's topic — one that had caused her a great deal of joy, pain, excitement and anxiety — called for a big backdrop.

“When [the song is] dealing with topics like infertility, or questioning whether you’ll be an okay parent once you finally find out you are having a baby, I want it to be epic,” she says. “Why the hell not? We will bring our friends over, and let’s do it.”

The lyrics to the song came together quickly. Instrumentally, however, “Faint Line” takes the listener on a journey of complex musical arrangements. What starts off as a mellow indie-folk song soon swells into a full orchestral assault. Treddinick handled the woodwinds, Luke recorded the brass, and a handful of other musicians recorded the strings and other instruments. The song's breadth is reminiscent of Pet Sounds-era Brian Wilson loose in the studio with an expansive mood and several dozen musicians.

Because the pandemic was raging while recording the single at their home studio, the Treddinicks took great pains to keep their young child safe, bringing in musicians one at a time and using a closet in their house as a sound booth. As big as the song sounds, it's really only a handful of musicians playing on the track.

It’s a time Treddinick looks back on as the polar opposite of fun, which is why the band wants to celebrate it with the adult prom show. The disco ball hanging from the club’s ceiling provided some inspiration, as did viewings of the ’80s-themed show Stranger Things and the Brat Pack classic Pretty in Pink. The concert will include the classic, hokey backdrop for prom photos, though they have eschewed the big punch bowl (thanks, COVID) in favor of juice boxes. The show will include performances by two other bands, Tonic & Time and Heated Bones, which are both also releasing new music that day.

“It’s been a really scary and shitty few years of pandemic, and we want to have fun and encourage people to get together in safe and happy and fun ways,” Treddinick says. “I miss that. Dances and people, not just wearing your pajamas all day.”

The Dollhouse Thieves, 8 p.m. Friday, August 12, Lost Lake Lounge, 3602 East Colfax Avenue; tickets are $15. “Faint Line” will be available August 12 on all major streaming platforms. For more information, visit thedollhousethieves.com.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.