Ed walks us through his second record, from front to back.
If upbeat, insert-a-better-word-than-jaunty-here indie-pop in a similar vein to the likes of Indoor Pets is your jam, Ed The Dog’s new album is one you should get on immediately. His second full-legnth, ‘Untitled.crashed.crashed.crashed’ is full of life-affirming songs that are as such not because everything’s hunky-dory and lovely, but rather because sometimes shit happens, and that’s ok.
“Like the majority of us,” he says, “I’ve had a pretty rubbish year all in all. No need to bog you down with the more personal end of that, but I do feel I should explain why the album didn’t come out in summer at least. In a nutshell: I wasn’t very happy with the ‘Welcome To Being A Loner’ record. It wasn’t the album I wanted to make and I was having no fun making it. With that in mind, I cut a bunch of songs, wrote new ones, changed the title and almost certainly gave my manager Andy a heart attack in the process.”
Give it a listen in full below, and find out about each of the tracks from Ed himself.Everybody, I Love You
This song for me was a long-overdue brain dump, though I wish I could say it's some wonderful meditation on how we should all love each other - that's very much not the case. The main refrain of the song 'Everybody, I love you. Do you love me too?' tells you everything you need to know I think. Saying 'I love everyone' is complete bullshit really. It's just a way to get to the latter 'do you love me too?' bit. I like the way the selfishness of this one line reveals a kind of Jungian shadow that juxtaposes all the heart-on-sleeve stuff in the verses.
Thank You Buddy
Charlie Lashmar - the lead guitarist in the ETD live show and co-producer on this record - had a near-fatal car crash coming back from a NYE party way back in 2017. He got saved by this random member of the public, and when he finally got back home - after a long ordeal involving a dog rescue home and missed trains - he found he'd put the guy's number in his phone wrong and so, therefore, couldn't call him to thank him. Seemed only fitting that we write a song in an attempt to try and track down this guy. We are still yet to find him in case you're wondering.
The oldest track of the bunch by far, written in 2013 when I was living in Broadstairs and still in the band' Fish Tank'. It's actually the first song I ever wrote completely on my own. The lyrics are quite literally about me dropping some milk in front of someone who was working on a checkout in Asda. Embarrassment is quite the motivator apparently, and potentially the reason Ed The Dog exists at all.
I seem to remember wanting to write a song that sounded like 'Kings of Convenience but if they listened to loads of Radiohead' and this is what fell out.
In the eyes of anybody over the age of 40, trying to be a proper musician in your twenties is equivalent to shitting yourself in public over and over again. It simply doesn't make any sense to most folk and, let's face it, rightly so. It's risky, unstable, and it 'makes your poor mother cry Edward.'
The verses for this tune are quite literally snippets of real conversation I've had with friends, family and strangers about my odd career choice. There's also a line in it which goes 'Jack Saunders can go fuck himself if he thinks I'm gonna compromise on any line for him.' Sorry to disappoint anyone out there but there's no beef between me and Jack. Just a cryptic bit of irony only he and I understand, and therefore ripe for misinterpretation...
Pulse Flickers Under Wrist
Probably the most experimental song of the lot. I've been listening to a fuck-ton of ATCQ over the last few years, and I think it must have gotten to me. It's what I call a 'walking through the forest' type song - I stole that phrase from the artist George Condo - where I just let the song dictate where it wants to go rather than overthinking it and trying to figure out what it's about. I remember spending ages with Charlie editing the drums to sound as janky as possible.
Post Post World
I know what you're thinking, but it's not the case. This song was written and finished as far back as February 2019. No lockdown themes or postulations on life in the pandemic here.
The song and its subject matter actually appeared through a curious sort of serendipity: I had had a phone call with a friend of mine who was, at the time, in a very dark place. I came away from it feeling pretty low myself. While all that transferred nihilism was cartwheeling about in my noggin, Charlie - perhaps sensing my mood - told me to take an hour away from editing and go write a song in a genre I'd never tried before. I opted for what I thought was some kind of RnB type thing. Thus 'Post Post World' was born.
This song is set from two different perspectives: a whiny, lovesick version of myself in the verses and choruses, and an amalgam of rational inner thoughts and reasonable, but hard to swallow, observations from various different romantic partners in the bridge. One thing I like about this song is that turn in the middle, where all of a sudden my usual self-deprecating spiel has the mirror turned on it. Of course, in the end, though, song-me learns nothing from the facts and continues to perpetuate the same patterns of behaviour.
I'll Be Your Dog
If you can't tell already, I'm quite a fan of dogs. Partially the reason for my odd moniker is the humble canines fantastic nack for transparent emotion. You don't have to read between the lines to know how a dog is feeling. This song was another one of those 'walking through the forest' songs I mentioned earlier. As a result - and also kind of the point of the song I suppose - the line between where I start, and the imagined mutt in the song ends is blurred.
I'm Gonna Change That
This was the last song to be written for the album, so it's positioning was a pretty natural fit, as is the subject matter.
Halfway through this year, I got sick of the album I was making called 'Welcome To Being A Loner'. I culled a bunch of tracks set to be on that record and managed to nearly kill my manager in the process out of sheer worry for my sanity. Point is - it's never too late to change and go the way you wanna go. In a fitting synchronicity, I think this sentiment sums up how I feel about the entire record, which has felt both challenging and risky in equal measures. I hope it paid off.
Ed The Dog's album 'Untitled.crashed.crashed.crashed' is out now.