Not even a year after Classic Ballroom Dances came out last June, New Dog's work continues to layer as many difficult emotions and varying instruments into a sad but ultimately soothing collage.
"All the people I love I can count on one hand," he whispers from the depths of his bathtub on "Here All Days." Badalov's lyrics, not quite as depressive as in his Metal Hearts days, are dejected but accepting. The heroes might be dead and his friends might be losing touch, but he remembers what his father taught him: never to run.
The tracks often sound like innocence having a disagreement with heartbreak over consequences, especially on "Lover's Palm," in which an electric keyboard and a grand piano overlap like yin and yang. The flourishes don't feel contrived, even when electric drums meet classical guitar, and the end result is an eloquent snapshot of dystopia. (Heart of a Dog)