Slaughter Beach, Dog – Birdie

Slaughter Beach, Dog's debut album is a triumph and a treat not to be missed

Album Review by Pete Wild | 24 Oct 2017
Album title: Birdie
Artist: Slaughter Beach, Dog
Label: Big Scary Monsters
Release date: 27 Oct

Those albums you first hear without any expectations that blow you away – those are the best kind aren’t they? You hear a song and you think, hey – that’s not bad. You maybe stop what you're doing, listen a little harder. The second song impresses; the third. Not bad becomes pretty good. You switch from thinking the album is good to worrying which song will tell you: ah, they frontloaded their best songs. Then you realise you’ve heard eight great songs, nine great songs, ten. Such is the experience of listening to Slaughter Beach, Dog’s debut album, Birdie.

Fronted by Modern Baseball’s Jake Ewald (the project arising after MB went on hiatus), Birdie kicks off with Phoenix – a sweetly melancholic folk number in the vein of Whiskeytown’s Avenues. Ah, you think: folk pop. Then we get Gold and Green, which is the kind of pop song Pavement wrote at their most endearing, and Pretty O.K., which would be number one everywhere on the planet right now if there was any kind of justice in the world. It’s the kind of song we need for times like these.

There’s a buoyant urgency to proceedings, the kind of detail in the lyrics that let you know here is a person telling you stories of the world as they see them in a way that is fiercely meant. Gently pastoral (there’s lots of acoustic), Slaughter Beach, Dog mix in some nice sounding keyboards (Shapes I Know), some fuzzy guitar shapes (Sleepwalking, and Fish Fry), and what might be pump organ (on Friend Song which is a good indicator as to why they accompanied Daniel Johnston on his recent farewell US tour). All told it’s a treat. Do not miss it.

 Listen to: Gold and Green, Pretty O.K., Sleepwalking