Following the release of their debut album, Night Group, Dog Day spent two years touring from Norway to Texas to Northern Alberta. An isolated unit of four astrologically inclined musicians, they routinely made the weary shift from day jobs to long stretches of highway. The resulting experiences weighed heavily on the shoulders of the new songs they returned home with.
In the summer of 2008, the band retired to the basement of a used clothing store to start developing a new set of songs focusing on internal conflict, mental wellness and ultimately, inner peace. Setting up a studio in this setting, they were able to be meticulous with each track, carefully piecing together synth tones and guitar squalls to create the sound they had in mind.
“We had a clear vision of what we wanted the record to be like, as well as a bunch of production ideas we wanted to try…the kind of ideas you really don’t have time for when you’re paying for studio time,” claims front man Seth Smith. “The last record was a never ending labyrinth of studio work, it took us forever to get in there and actually finish it.”
Once the album’s tracking was complete, the band took the songs to John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.). Working at Water Music Recorders in Hoboken, NJ, the project took its final steps toward completion.
“John had a window of two weeks and liked the material,” says Smith. “Everything he did was great. He’s got great taste and is a total pro…that’s because he is a Virgo, we knew that going in.”
Concentration’s sparse notes, hushed vocals and splintering drum beats sound like a cross-section of scenes that existed in Manchester and Athens in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Each of the eleven songs is draped in shadow and melody, ranging from driving hooks of “Wait it Out” to the melancholic calm of “Rome.” The album sees the band weave together a sound perfect for dancing with the skeletons in the closet.
Dog Day began in 2005 as a recording project for Seth Smith’s frail folk songs, following the demise of his former band, The Burdocks. Soon after, he was joined by Nancy Urich (also of The Burdocks) and KC Spidle & Crystal Thili of hardcore act, The Hold. The new line-up led Smith’s songs down a more punk-influenced path of power-chords and one-note leads. Dog Day’s debut EP, Thank You, debuted at #8 in Canada on the !earshot campus radio charts and quickly earned them national attention.
The band returned in 2007 with its acclaimed debut LP, Night Group (Tomlab/Black Mountain). The album was built on driving rhythms that carried the song’s cathartic lyrics at a blinding pace. “This is a more modern Halifax sound, though, punctuated by effortless gems like ‘End of the World’ which echoes like Eric’s Trip covering Interpol.” (Spin) “…the album seems to get better with each song, with ‘Oh Dead Life’ sparkling as if it was to be included on a tribute album to The Cure.” (Billboard)
Following the release of Night Group, Dog Day toured relentlessly including a two-week stint with Eric’s Trip in the summer of 2008. The group revisited the relationship this March, when they recorded a four song EP with Rick White, including a song that White had written specifically for the band. The record will be released in the summer of 2009 on 7″ vinyl by Divorce Records and digitally by Outside Music.