In our Track by Track feature, artists take the time to dig deep into each song on their latest offering. Today, The Dodos look out from the Grizzly Peak of their eight LP.
The Dodos are back with their new album, Grizzly Peak. Stream it below via Spotify and Apple Music.
Grizzly Peak marks The Dodos’ eighth full-length release, following 2018’s Certainty Waves. The band were determined to make a “back to form” record, something they accomplished over the LP’s 10 tracks. Speaking about the lead single, “Annie,” vocalist Meric Long said the “intentions of the record are: rediscovering the initial premise for this band, while saying ‘thank you’ to our fans and those we’ve worked with along the way.”
Long went deeper into that goal by providing Consequence with an exclusive Track by Track breakdown of the effort. Read on beneath the streams to see what else he had to say.
The Dodos kick off their tour supporting Grizzly Peak tonight with a gig in Visalia, California. Check out their full itinerary here, and get tickets via Ticketmaster.
This song is about loyalty and was the first song written for the record (excluding the pre-released singles “The Surface” and “The Atlantic”) that got me thinking about doing another Dodos record. It just really reminded me of old Dodos songs I used to write, and there were enough things to present in the song that got me excited, namely that opening guitar riff and the way the drums would land in the chorus. I was staying in my mother in law’s stone cottage in the woods in Northwest Spain and every noise in that house just bounces off the walls, you can hear a fork on a plate from the other end of the house. I just had this idea of someone living in this echo-y old house filled with regrets about their life and sort of screaming at the walls about it. The first version I did was with actual pots and pans for the drums and an accordion cause that’s what was there.
If “Annie” was the song that got me thinking, “Pale Horizon” was the song that solidified the idea of doing another record. The entire song is played in the same fingerpicking pattern the whole time, I think it might be very similar to a Radiohead song off of In Rainbows but I’m not positive since I’ve been a little too scared to go check. It’s just so much goddamn fun to play and once you start playing that pattern it sounds and feels like so many things are happening at the same time. It reminded me of when I first started fingerpicking and it seemed like there was an entire orchestra happening in my ears. I worked on this song longer than anything else, and I really wanted to get that guitar to sound the way I heard it, which led me on a six month journey of recording an acoustic guitar a hundred different ways. The song is about feeling a bit desperate about not getting through to someone else but then you realize that you’ve just been bickering with a projection from your own mind the entire time, rather than actually listening to the other person.
“With a Guitar”:
The idea of me fighting anyone with a guitar is still a bit funny to me, but it’s kind of how I felt when I wrote it. Like what else have I got? It’s just a realization that the guitar has always been a way for me to not feel worthless, ever since I was 13 and I’m just super grateful for that. I mean, there are worse things I could have spent my time doing. As with a lot of the songs on the record, we recorded different parts of the song in different spaces to try and exaggerate the feeling of moving from one place to another. So the verses were recorded in my garage/studio space and the choruses were recorded in the big live room at Tiny Telephone. It’s like when a band performs in different locations in a music video, it should sound different too shouldn’t it?