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 ‘Dead Dog’, the title track on Dead Dog, and this is what Howlie had to say on it:
“I wrote this one in January of 2016 days after a break up. Guilt, regret, depression… it spilled out of me without delay into this song. Up until high school, I was a loner for most of my adolescent life. I had a few friends, but for 14 years my dog Duke was always there for me. There truly was no better remedy for sadness than the companionship of my dog. He passed away in the summer of 2008.
After this break up, I moved back in with my folks. I was just a total mess. For the majority of my life I associated my parents’ house with Duke. It was the first time that I was experiencing a hardship living at home without him, and the song reflects that both in name and in lyrical content.
The chorus of “Dead Dog” is noteworthy. When I started therapy shortly after this song was written, my therapist told me I had learned to “expertly emotionally compartmentalize.” This had allowed me to get through the bad times, but also make mistakes or hurt people without considering the repercussions. She described it as a box in my chest that I had crammed my emotions into over the years, almost like a survival mechanism. I couldn’t believe it. Not even a month prior, I had unknowingly written, “bury all emotions under dirt behind my filthy sternum.” We worked intensively on opening that box.”
As you can imagine, ‘Dead Dog’ is a song steeped in sadness. Scars become renewed wounds as Howlie opens up and recalls the emotions felt after experiencing all of these tragedies in a short space of time. Harking back to old times brings a return to Howlie’s traditional sound with sombre acoustic chords strummed into misery, bringing the company it so desperately desires. This dreamy instrumental is spurred on by Howlie’s pained vocals, and the result is a song that hits you right in the filthy sternum.
The title track paints a heavy picture which spills over throughout the rest of the Dead Dog EP, but tomorrow brings another song from it. Check out the review of ‘Coconut Oil’ if you haven’t seen it already. See you tomorrow!