Slaughter Beach, Dog are back with their excellent new album Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, out today via Lame-O Records. As I wrote in my review, it finds band leader Jake Ewald diving into cosmic country, with twangy slide guitar, soaring harmonies from Erin Rae, and some of Jake’s most experienced storytelling yet. It’s the most divorced his songwriting has ever been from his past life as the co-leader of the generation-defining emo band Modern Baseball, and it stands tall on its own, separate from any of Jake’s past work. For a deeper dive into the LP, Jake has given us a track-by-track breakdown. Read on for what he had to say…
“Surfin’ New Jersey”
Zack’s drum groove really made this one. He had just picked up these crazy trash can hi-hats with wood and chains on em and stuff… I’m probably describing them poorly. It was really fun to play straight away. The lyric is about going surfing in New Jersey. That’s probably enough information. Next!
This song is about being sick of somebody else for so long that you wind up sick of yourself. Emotional pollution? It’s also a love song for temporary disappearance. I like to be alone. I don’t know how anybody gets any thinking done otherwise. Text messages? Enough already.
This one is an old story. Thinking you’re getting your heart broken but coming to realize you’re doing it to yourself. Also an ode to the Delaware River, which I can’t seem to physically get away from. Or even cross, for that matter.
“My Sister In Jesus Christ”
This song is about growing up next to my twin sister in church. It’s also about being a kid and lying in bed waiting for somebody to wake me up for church but eventually realizing everybody had gone to church without me. Not traumatic, just surprising. I love playing this song, and the guys sound hilariously good on it. Music rocks.
This is how I feel most of the time. Like I can’t bring myself to convey anything remotely important on an emotional level with people in my life. I just get trapped in these exhausting conversations with myself. At least I got a good song out of it.
This is a story song about a bar that I loved for a while. Every night there would be this couple that would watch whatever was on the TV and not talk to each other and smile the whole time. They always got there before me, and I never saw them leave. In my head they’re always there.
This is one of my favorites. I don’t know where this song came from, but it spilled out pretty quickly in the studio one night. I really like the idea of asking, “What’s the worst thing God can do?” I’d like to meet whoever is asking that question. Special thanks to Adam for the structural assistance on this one.
I love this song. It keeps asking me questions I don’t know how to answer. I don’t want to talk about it too much. The blue ribbon goes to Zack for diving into the soundscapes here. Zack has long been The Closer for us in terms of putting a bow on an arrangement, but he outdid himself on this one.
My heart breaks for Henry, but sometimes I envy Henry. In a way he was spared. When the record was finished I realized this song might be an answer to “Engine.” The other side of the coin.
This one is me writing a lullaby. A lot of Jesus on this record, huh?
To dive even deeper into the album, check out this video of Jake talking about the books, records, movies, and more that inspired it:
Catch SBD on tour, including NYC’s Webster Hall on November 17 with Bonny Doon. All dates:
Slaughter Beach, Dog — 2023 Tour Dates
9/27 – Manchester Academy 2 – Manchester, UK*
9/28 – Leeds Irish Centre – Leeds, UK*
9/29 – Concorde 2 – Brighton, UK*
9/30 – Electric Brixton – London, UK*
10/1 – SWX – Bristol, UK*
11/1 – Buskirk-Chumley Theater – Bloomington, IN
11/2 – The Bluestone – Columbus, OH^
11/3 – Axis Club – Toronto, CA^
11/4 – St. Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI^
11/5 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL
11/6 – First Ave – Minneapolis, MN
11/8 – The Gothic – Englewood, CO^
11/9 – The Granada – Lawrence, KS^
11/10 – Delmar Hall – St. Louis, MO^
11/11 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN^
11/12 – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA^
11/14 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC^
11/15 – The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD^
11/16 – Roadrunner – Boston, MA^
11/17 – Webster Hall – New York, NY^
11/18 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA^
1/04 – House of Blues – Houston, TX#
1/05 – Paper Tiger – San Antonio, TX#
1/06 – Emo’s – Austin, TX#
1/07 – Tulips – Dallas, TX#
1/09 – Meow Wolf – Santa Fe, NM#
1/10 – 191 Toole – Tucson, AZ#
1/11 – The Van Buren – Phoenix, AZ#
1/12 – Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA#
1/13 – Theatre at The Ace Hotel – Los Angeles, CA#
1/14 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA#
1/16 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA#
1/17 – Crest Theatre – Sacramento, CA#
1/19 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR#
1/20 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA#
1/21 – Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC#
* = w/ Mo Troper
^ = w/ Bonny Doon
# = w/ Sun June