Song of the Day: Dr. Dog - Bring My Baby Back

Song of the Day
02/23/2016
Scott Kulicke
photo by Matthew B. Thompson

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Bring My Baby Back” by Dr. Dog from their 2016 album, The Psychedelic Swamp, on Anti-.

Dr. Dog - Bring My Baby Back (MP3)

Few things are as cringe-inducing as our own past endeavors - when Facebook decides to show you that time you made a "Karma Police" status when you got dumped eight years ago, when you crack open that old yearbook and see the very fresh duds you were rocking in the eleventh grade. So, it surprised our little musical corner of the world when Dr. Dog announced that they were going to re-record and re-release their debut album, 2001's The Psychedelic Swamp. It took the band an odd decade-and-a-half to really pin down their lineup, their sound, and their approach: the nostalgic simplicity that smacks of the American south, combined with a tastefully subdued electronic touch, all bathed in a collage of ethereal, ambience-sounds the likes of which you can only achieve with masterful studio engineering - 2008's Fate really typified that use of ambience with tracks like "The Ark" and "The Beach." In a way, rereleasing Swamp makes sense: wouldn't we all go back and re-do things with the knowledge and skill of an extra fifteen years? But fans expected this to be some sort of Dr. Dog-concentrate, a 110% distilled essence of a band that has been notoriously hard to pigeonhole while somehow never losing a single fan in all their stylistic meanderings - and they were never going to give us that essence-of-Dog. Instead of a succinct Dog manifesto, Swamp is as scattered and lovably all-over-the-place as the band's history on an album that has been panned as much as it has been praised.

However, even those that came away from this project scratching their head all agree that the standout shining moment of brilliance on the album is "Bring My Baby Back" - a sorrowfully catchy, drum machine-driven, lo-fi cut full of longing for the oldest subject in the book: the love of someone lost. Amid subtle 8-bit sweeps and beeps reminiscent of The Gorillaz Plastic Beach, acoustic guitar strums that border on folk slowly but steadily drive us down a sunny country road in the musical equivalent of a dented red pickup with a golden lab pokin' his head out the window (if none of that made sense, just listen).

Dr. Dog already finished their West Coast tour for The Psychedelic Swamp, which they started right here in Seattle (read our review of their Neptune show here). They'll be around Canada and the East Coast during the next two months, so check their website and Facebook page to find out exactly where they'll be and for, of course, more music. For now, enjoy the video Anti- put out for "Bring My Baby Back" and let yourself be carried away in the imagery of that aforementioned golden lab.

Related News & Reviews

KEXP Premiere

Dr. Dog Finds Power with Peace on Latest LP Critical Equation (KEXP Premiere)

The Philadelphia band's new album drops this Friday, April 27 via Thirty Tigers.


Read More
Local Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day: The Thermals - Hey You

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the M...


Read More
Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Daughter - New Ways

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the M...


Read More
Click anywhere to return to the site