Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Dawg Yawp: So Much More

6

Dawg Yawp: So Much More

By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Personnel

Dawg Yawp
multi-instrumentalist
Rob Keenan
guitar

Album information

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


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Silent, Listening
Fred Hersch
Riley
Riley Mulherkar
3 Works For Strings
Giusto Chamber Orchestra
My Multiverse
Pearring Sound

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.