Dogeyed began as Harriet Elder’s solo project, but now with the addition of one part Woahnows and one part Caves, Elder delivers a first ‘full band’ EP, in the form of Throw The Bones. Each member adds to the perfectly rounded sound, with Harriet’s voice taking the focus in all the right moments, with the musicianship a well considered accompaniment to some truly heart-wrenching lyrics.
The off kilter opener, ‘Deep Dreaming’, pairs angular guitars with vintage bass and drum lines. Incredibly catchy hooks and chord progressions are matched by a lyrical outpouring of emotion which is honest and open. The word play packed with venom, creating biting points that come to the surface in vocal snarls.
The opener fades faultlessly into ‘Dry’, which sees more guitar and bass dancing together in front of subtle drum grooves that combine both modern and vintage sounds. It’s a clever backing which the perfect setting for a tale of lost romance; a vocal tinged with strength and positivity.
‘Bad Baby’ gives an indication to the solo incarnation of the band; opening with the original piece of chat in a recording studio gives a little nod towards DIY. The singer-songwriter style acoustic song that follows is by far the most emotional on an EP packed with tearjerkers. The vocal and understated but complex guitar part fits together delightfully and the slight fuzz within the recording; it creates an almost hazy sound. There are moments of anger, strength, and fragility; it’s beautiful and sad in equal measure.
‘OM’ treads the gentle line between the fragility of its acoustic predecessor, and the building guitars of the bulk of the EP. Vocally this track is a masterpiece with the most delicate balance between emotive cracks and subtle fragility. There is an almost XX feel to the backing as the bass dominates, before completely disappearing within moments as crashing cymbals and guitar lines arrive to steal focus.
The EP closes out with ‘Sheep Dog’. Once more the vocals take the focus, as a vintage backing, combined with angular guitars, give way to building bass lines and drums that crescendo with surf punk delicacy. Elder’s voice beautifully conveys every moment of lyrical emotion; the line ‘I’ve got no shame I can say these things and I’m all of these things” holds an inspiring quality. There is a empowering lyrical theme throughout; identity and self-worth are tackled and other people are questioned.
There are loads of easy comparisons I could make between Dogeyed and acts like Shit Present, Laura Stevenson, and Pillow Queens, but it is the way the musicianship combines so beautifully with the vocal that really sets this release apart. Throw the Bones takes the complexity of Sam Duckworth’s quieter work, the sunshine guitars of La Sera and Best Coast, and the forward thinking vintage sound of Franz Nicolay and Nelson Can, to create an effortless record.
Throw The Bones is out now on Specialist Subject.