Big Telephone’s second album in less than a year, Beach Dog is a project designed in isolation, being entirely written, recorded and produced by one individual. And yet, the warmth the album emanates ensures the listening experience is never quite as lonely as its creation.
Each of the small crop of songs prompts its own wondrous window of introspection, carried by lulling acoustic guitars and a melancholy vocal performance. On the lead single, ‘All Day I Think About That’, a façade of tinkering piano comes in and quickly fades, giving space for a shaking drum beat to carry the track onwards. The lyrics present a relatable fixation on a single awkward memory – a constant reliving of something better forgotten.
Perhaps the strongest cut amongst a quality tracklist, ‘I Am Just Going Outside Now’ sees a lightly warbling organ sift through the mix, adding further depth to an already textually rich track that continues to extend beyond the minimalist expectations it sets out in its first verse. It swells to a climax of stabbing guitars awash with the spray of cymbals before hushing itself back into a loving lull of plucked acoustic guitar, as lyrics about struggles with escapism are intoned before the by-now familiar solution is presented in a recalling of the song’s title.
Beach Dog unshackles itself from the comparatively grandiose arrangements of last year’s album. In from the Get-Go, peeling away layers and finding greater nuance than its predecessor (which is no doubt a strong release in its own right).
Big Telephone is out now