Jake Ewald has released his second LP under the name Slaughter Beach, Dog. Birdie is a brilliant 10 song collection which sees a departure from what you would expect from Ewald, yet maintain that warm feeling always got listening to his former band, Philly emo rockers, Modern Baseball.
Ewald’s storytelling is nothing short of spectacular. Lyrically, the album guides you into worlds that are familiar and relatable. Each song feels like a conversation being told be a friend, over a cup of coffee or by the fire after the party has died down. It all feels so organic and straight from the heart. Typically, I want to highlight one or two stand out songs that make the album special, but in the case of Birdie the album as a whole feels special. Each song captures you with a progression of chords, or catchy chorus, or one line that lingers for hours and even days.
From the soft opener, ‘Phoenix’ to the folkier tracks of ‘Gold and Green’, ‘Pretty O.K.’ and ‘Bad Beer’ the album shows the range of sound within the first few tracks of the record. Tracks like ‘Shapes I Know’ adds an organ which pairs beautifully with the rest of the band and vocals, while ‘Sleepwalking’ underpins its catchy tune with a simple yet elegant guitar riff carries strong throughout the song. ‘Buttercup’ pumps the break, and plays more like a sip of coffee instead of chugging it while ‘Friend Song’ one of the shorter tracks, sounds like a message left from someone on your answering machine. Album closer, ‘Acolyte’, while more upbeat, still captures the warm, relaxed feeling that runs through the previous 9 tracks. In each case, Ewald’s vocals combine beautifully with each arrangement.
This ‘side project’ has allowed Ewald to reach to another level in song writing, to the point where the term ‘side project’ seems insincere when referring to Slaughter Beach, Dog. Perspective, honesty and being relatable are just a few reasons to give Birdie a listen. Giving a new spin on the folk genre, Slaughter Beach, Dog captures a kind of magic from start to finish, in a time when filler tracks seem all too common.
Birdie is out on Friday October 27th via Lame-O Records.