The Dodos

For the Dodos, "the best time to make a record is right after you've finished one" says vocalist and guitarist Meric Long.
Having just wrapped up the sessions for their previous record Carrier, and fired up on the level of comfort achieved with brothers Jay and Ian Pellicci at Tiny Telephone studio, the duo immediately began laying to tape the batch of songs that would result in their latest and sixth record, entitled Individ.
"There were things I didn't want to forget, sounds that we had just scratched the surface of making that record that I wanted to capitalize on. Songs came together easily, there was not a lot of questioning, just moving ahead with the feeling that we were on the right track. We were freed up to do whatever came naturally" says Long.
And for the Dodos, their natural inclination is to create music that sounds positively epic.
"In a lot of ways making this record brought us back to making Visiter," their 2008 critical and commercial breakthrough, "relying heavily on the movement that occurs between just two instruments, guitar and drums. From the first take of the first song we tracked, things sounded huge and that set the tone for the entire thing."
Individ's first single "Competition" is a shining example of this proclivity, built on dueling guitar lines that overlap above and below a persistent drum beat as Long's assured vocals soar above it all.
At other points, "Goodbyes and Endings" infuses a similar up-tempo feel while changing time signatures every few bars. "Retriever" chugs along on one of the dirtiest guitar riffs the Dodos have ever set to tape, all the while accompanied by drums that are more akin to gunshots.
As the album closes with "Pattern/Shadow" (a track that features vocals from Thee Oh Sees' Brigid Dawson), Long sings "Your shadow remains / I cannot resist / The mirrored escape / Of your pattern."
It's a moment that lyrically reinforces the record's guiding force of acceptance, imparting a lesson to a band whose name inherently calls into question its future: resilience isn't always about changing or adapting to a new environment, sometimes it's about staying true to your instincts and asserting yourself in this ever changing atmosphere.
Explains Long, "Carrier was about breaking habits, recognizing and imagining yourself away from the washing machine that has you trapped. That's why the cover image was of someone watching a tornado go away from him. This record is about accepting what is natural for you or maybe even a part of you .Individ is what it sounds like inside the tornado."

Dustin Wong

Dustin Wong's second LP Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads, is a departure from Dustin's previous methods but more closely a distillation of his live show into recorded form. The pieces are so intricate and detailed that we've asked Dustin to explain his process and he happily obliges us:

"When I begin to explore and to build a song through a series of pedals, I begin with the tuner. It helps keep my guitar's pitch consistent. An octave pedal and the distortion pedals allows me to change the textures and colors of the guitar. The delay pedal determines the tempo and the pattern. Once these sounds are determined, it then gets replicated and repeated through a loop pedal. Repeating that process, I lay different sounds and melodies on top. After the loop pedal comes the envelope filter that changes the color of the sounds but in a different way, more like a blend or like a dye. At the end of this chain of pedals awaits another delay pedal that corresponds to the delay pedal before the looper, further accentuating and changing the patterns of the loop.

I see all these pedals as a kind of textile factory. The sheets and colors are determined then the patterns are laid on top, one layer after another until it becomes a fabric mille feuille. Once that cake looks done it gets replicated again through another delay pedal. I can keep building these sounds on top each other and decide whether I want to take half of the cakes slices or not, if i do, I can gaze at the symmetrical void of what I have taken.

I changed the recording process for Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads from the process used for Infinite Love. In Infinite Love I recorded every layer as a separate track dividing them up throughout the stereo-field, but in Dreams Say… it was all mostly recorded live with a few overdubs moving around in the stereo-field. The presentation of songs are also different, Infinite Love was presented as a whole, and in Dreams Say… I decided to have titles for each song or idea. In a way the physical documentation and the presentation of the idea got switched. Just like choosing how to see a light through a prism. Whether to see the fragmented light into the prism and out to the single ray of light or the other way around."

Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads will be available on both CD and LP and Dustin will be touring extensively in support of the new release throughout the coming year.



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