What? Many artists take time off to adequately unwind between albums, but Philly-based quintet Dr. Dog, which put out the excellent We All Belong just last year, will return July 22 with Fate, their fifth album to date. And if you’re hearing familiar sounds on your stereo this summer, it’s not deja vu, it’s just the outfit’s latest — a creative and incredibly cohesive collection of songs that feels much like a ’70s-flavored rock opera. But this time around, classic themes of growth, love, and living are translated through beautifully orchestrated tracks with reggae-inflected rhythms — like “The Old Days” and “The Rabbit, the Bat, and the Reindeer” — all the way to the album’s stellar two-movement finale, “My Friend.”
Who? Boasting a time-honored career, Dr. Dog has garnered a comforting reputation for its repertoire of restorative and well-rounded indie pop-meets-classic rock sound. Resembling something slightly further down the road (and the alphabet) from prominent influences like the Beatles, the Band, and the Beach Boys, Fate plays up all the five-piece’s signature strengths: Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman trading lead vocals, rich multi-part harmonies, and energetic, interlocked guitar lines.
Fun Fact: A good two months in advance of its release, Dr. Dog debuted songs from Fate live at a pair of intimate gigs in New York and Philadelphia. Check out a review of the quintet’s special appearance at the Big Apple’s Mercury Lounge right here.
Now Hear This: “The Old Days”