Published Dec 02, 2013For Dog Day's last studio album, 2011's Deformer, the Halifax-bred band decided to strip down their sound, downsizing to a two-piece and recording a set that fully captured their minimalist progression. But according to lead guitarist and songwriter Seth Smith, the husband and wife team soon discovered the limitations of playing as a duo.
"When you're the guitarist in a two-piece guitar and drums band, you play a wrong note and everybody is going to hear that," Smith tells Exclaim!
That's why for the upcoming Fade Out, Dog Day's fourth album and last for quite some time, the band decided to go back to basics, enlisting the help of a local rhythm section made up of Monomyth's Seamus Dalton and Quaker Parents' Mark Grundy. With co-leader Nancy Urich moving to the electric guitar for the first time since their departure from math-rock mainstays the Burdocks, Fade Out finds the band progressing their sound into poppier territories more than ever before, evoking a classic rock sound while maintaining their distinctive brand of outsider indie rock.
The record arrives December 10 through the band's own Fundog Records imprint, but you can stream it now here on Exclaim.ca.
Following last year's Lowlife soundtrack — an avant-garde musical accompaniment to Smith's independent horror film of the same name — the band decided to take a relaxed approach with their newest album, recording at the group's home studio whenever they had a spare moment. The result is a musical patchwork that recalls the early years of grunge with the calculated precision of the FM airwaves.
"Going into recording this album we thought, 'Just because we're two people at the moment, let's not limit ourselves and let's do a record where we can have a little fun with it and worry about recreating it live later,'" Smith says. "It kind of has this weird scrapbook feel, because everything was recorded at a different time and with different feelings."
With no discernible timetable for its release date or commercial pressure, Fade Out is the garage duo's darkest disc to date, capturing the ramshackle rock of the Flamin' Groovies and Smith's beloved Rolling Stones, while incorporating some seriously dystopic vibes.
"I definitely have that dark side and light side," he says. "I can't deny a beautiful melody, but I also want things to be dark and weird — I always keep a balance of it in my life."
Hear for yourself by streaming the album over here.
And don't forget to catch Dog Day on their upcoming Canadian mini-tour this month. You can see all the dates here.