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Dawg Yawp: So Much More


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Dawg Yawp: So Much More
On a 2004 remix compilation, What Is Hip? (Warner Brothers), Tsuper Tsunami turned Seals & Crofts' early '70s folk-rock classic "Summer Breeze" into a percolating bit of dance-ready electronica.

But it does not seem that either Jimmy Seals nor Dash Crofts were involved in the electronica on the new take of their recording.

On So Much More, contemporary folk rockers Dawg Yawp go full-on acid mode all on their own, and the results are every bit as rewarding.

The lead-off track, "Lettuce," is a wholly organic extension of Dawg Yawp's rewarding philosophy of being open to absolutely anything musically. In no way is this a change of direction—the sound retains that patented Dawg Yawp vibe of Piedmont blues meets Indian raga, anchored by Tyler Randall's crisp sitar playing and the lush vocal harmonies of Randall and his partner, guitarist Rob Keenan.

But the swirling electronics, the multi-layered vocal snippets and synthesized drum rhythms put a fresh spin on their sound—gives the listener another perspective from which to approach their music.

The second track then shifts gears back into an acoustic groove with "In And Out" with their throwback harmony vocals before the arrangements open up into a more electronic passage. The song then alternates between acoustic and electronica, albeit in an utterly seamless manner.

The title track continues the duo's deft blending of '70s-style two-part harmonies and contemporary techno, while a droning organ and methodical beat lend "Sucker" a darker edge than most any other song they have yet recorded.

"Why I'm Here," which first appeared on 2018's two-track Doubles, Vol. 1 (Old Flame Records, 2018) opens with a different approach to their vocals—multi-layered harmonies a la the Beatles or the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (Capitol Records, 1966). Then Keenan, whose absolutely brilliant guitar work is often overshadowed by the singular sounds of Randall's sitar, lays out a gorgeous counter- theme behind their vocals, punctuated with some slinky slide work. They even somehow manage to make a campaign rally speech by Howard Dean not only seem relevant but, well, hip.

An R&B-infused riff opens "Thair," before it slides into a simmering groove punctuated by Randall's syncopated sitar fills, and "Took Too Much" sounds at times like it was lifted from a vintage video arcade game with an insistent high repeating riff.

But the album closes out strongly with the ethereal "Tearin' Up," the second track from Doubles, Vol. 1 included here.

It is the ultimate Dawg Yawp song: Starkly beautiful melody, two-part vocal harmonies to rival Simon & Garfunkel, and lyrics that evoke heartache. This interweaving of emotional anguish with musical beauty only increases the power of both.

Track Listing

Lettuce; In And Out; So Much More; Sucker; Why I'm Here; Thair; Took Too Much; Tearin' Up.


Dawg Yawp
Rob Keenan

Album information

Title: So Much More | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Old Flame Records



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