Howlie Week has begun! Each day, Sounds Good will premiere a song from the new Dead Dog EP from Howlie. This is a huge honour as I’ve become a fan of his work since we got in touch last year and we’ve also become pretty good buds too. Today we’re premiering ‘Coconut Oil’, the opening track on Dead Dog, and this is what Howlie had to say on it:
“This song sets the tone of the EP perfectly, I feel. My life changed after I stumbled on Julee Cruise’s album “Floating into the Night” on a snowy morning this past March. The whole album sweeps you away if you let it. It’s so slow… it’s an actual dream. There’s this synth drone that is constantly in the background and it’s beautiful. When I closed my eyes, it was like I was in this black void and there wasn’t anything else. I felt inspired to try it myself. I researched the best guitar pedals that nailed that dream pop sound, and within a week I couldn’t rip myself off of them. “Coconut Oil” is the first song from that experience, and consequently changed the whole sound of the EP.
As with all of my songs, this one is very intimate. I wanted to take the listener on a tour, so to speak- this is a theme present on the third track as well. Snippets of items around the house and the feeling of remembering a clump of days or months… I tried to convey that fog. This song alludes to my anxiety and making regrettable decisions as a result (“Don’t leave me alone, because I don’t even trust myself / I panic when you’re not around”).
Howlie songs are no stranger to falsetto, but with this EP I wanted to nail a strong falsetto more than ever. I envy the strength of Brian Wilson’s falsetto, and tried to emulate that spirit throughout the EP.”
The first thing to note is the shift in sound. As mentioned above, there’s a noticeable retraction from bedroom acoustics and a new exploration into Dream Pop. ‘Coconut Oil’ features guitars steeped in heavy reverb, and embrace a tempo that’s much slower than the norm for Howlie’s music, immediately expanding things onto a much wider scale. Howlie’s vocals echo amongst the atmosphere, adding a real haunting element to the instrumental.
It’s a bold introduction into a new sound but it’s one that fondly remembers the accessible nature of Howlie’s music, kicking the EP off in solid fashion. Tomorrow another song from Dead Dog will be released but until then, please let me know what you thought of ‘Coconut Oil’. See you tomorrow!