Review- “Tortoise”- Dog is Blue

reviewed by Michael

There is no shortage of amazing folk duos in Canada and here is another one for you to take note of. Meet Dog is Blue, a garage-folk duo who just may pleasantly surprise you.

The duo of Paul Watson and Laura Heaney has a great amount of chemistry and sparse instrumental arrangements that should piece even the coldest hearts.

The opening track “Dusty Bones” showcases a lot of the duo’s talent right off the bat. It becomes immediately apparent that minimalism is there forte. Watson’s first few lines are backed only by an acoustic guitar- no drums, no bass. It’s very refreshing and it reminded me of how powerful of an instrument a voice can be. Midway through the song the song starts to rock, and Watson and Heanery warn a monkey and a toxic snake that they’re “Climbin’ your motherfuckin’ mountain/And I’m swimmin’ in your lake.”

The two use a good variety of instruments but never use them all at once. The following song “Slow Boat to China” has guitar picking in a very different way. The notes sound as if they’ve been plucked but they also sound half-muted. The resulting sounds don’t vibrate like most chords do and it makes the song really fascinating to listen to.

The rest of the songs also make use of electric guitars and xylophones among other things. Watson and Heaney never outshine each other on vocal duty and, as I said, complement each other well.

One thing I forgot to mention is that the album was recorded almost completely off the floor. That’s what makes the album closer “Laura’s Song” so amazing. As you can guess, it is Heaney on the forefront here and she’s just playing an acoustic guitar. As she’s in the middle of a chorus, she messes up, laughs, and then says “sorry!” The song ends. It’s this imperfection that is often overlooked when a band is recording an album. The song is now one of my favourite album closers ever.

All in all this album is a fantastic piece of work from start to finish.

Top Tracks: “Dusty Bones”; “People”

Rating:Hunting Call (Excellent) +*swoop*


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