“Cool and Blue” is both a highlight off Dogbreth’s new record Second Home and a fitting description of the band as a whole. The Phoenix/Seattle-hailing power-pop quintet writes confident, witty songs that are tinged with a Picasso gray-cobalt, even in moments of pure celebration. This is largely due to frontman Tristan Jemsek’s post-grad stew of honesty and anxiety that inspires lines like “As a kid, I felt nervous around adults / And now I am an adult, and I feel nervous around my friends” on “Do You Really Want Me.” Dogbreth don’t write sad music per se, their form of realism is just pretty sober.
Often chanting and sometimes enchanting, the band has put together a third funsize LP with no hidden agenda. Their output encompasses a sunsoaked Woods vibe, more skeletal indie rock, and fuller-sounding near-grunge. Side-B closer “Walky Talky” demonstrates the latter sound, with Jemsek and Erin Caldwell shout-singing to unrelenting opponents: “Held my head up, I kept walking / Put my hands up, you kept talking.” This not-too-angry obstinance is the heartbeat of Second Home.
Check out the record in its entirety below, out physically via Asian Man on August 5th.