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 ‘Take Me’, the third of four tracks on Dead Dog, and this is what Howlie had to say on it:
“”Take Me” is directly inspired by, and almost a rip off of, “I Love How You Love Me” by the Paris Sisters. That tune is just soaked in reverb, and it’s so gentle. I heard Jeff Mangum’s cover in the summer of 2015 and couldn’t stop listening to it. In August of that year, I had a two week period where I was blissfully unemployed. That was the most productive period of songwriting in my life, I must have written close to 10 songs in that time! “Take Me” came out of that batch, but I could never get the sound right. My axe of choice for Howlie has been the acoustic guitar since day one, so it never occurred to me to play it on an electric. I let it sit for almost 2 years thinking it wasn’t meant to be, or perhaps waiting for a new band to take the reins.
Once I fell down the dream pop rabbit hole, and noticed that Julee Cruise’s “Floating Into the Night” had some 1960’s pop roots, I decided to give “Take Me” another go in this new style. It was great to hear the song finally blossoming through my chorus pedal. I love that there’s no structure to this song. It just drones over the same chord progression, relying on subtle differences in volume and changes in strumming pattern to evoke a sense of movement through the song. Again, I wanted to nail a strong falsetto for this one.
Similar to “Coconut Oil,” “Take Me” is a tour through the house of a former romance from high school. Though short-lived, it was extremely intense while it lasted. She gave me a literal tour of her house over a day’s time. We would quietly make out whenever we could find a spare corner away from her parents. While I waited for my dad to pick me up from her house, she broke up with me in her driveway, telling me she loved me; confusing and ridiculous at the time, but neat to reflect back on some twelve years later.”
With Dead Dog fully in the swing of things, ‘Take Me’ brings the listener further down the Dream Pop direction as it delivers a slow-paced guitar melody which seemingly unravels in the airwaves. Howlie’s vocals seep in and out of falsetto throughout, syncing up with the instrumental to drive home the highs and lows of the track – often accompanying itself with the stark melody or chords that seem sunny enough to reflect on the blissful occurrence of a 2 week unemployment.
‘Take Me’ is the EP’s swansong, spinning happily in blissful ignorance as it explores the Dream Pop genre, unaware that what follows brings things to a close. There’s only one more song left to premiere tomorrow, but let’s keep spinning along until then.