It’s hard to pin down a specific style on Mountain View four-piece Dogcatcher. Just a quick rundown of their first two records, released in 2011 and 2012 respectively, only emphasize this confusion. The first, KILR, is a contemplative folk-rock record with occasional Herb Alpert flairs. The second, It’s Easy, is a feel-good, jazzy groove-rock album.
That brings us to their third, soon-to-be released self-titled album. This record might prove that Dogcatcher indeed have a sound, as it’s not a departure from their last record, but an evolution on the dance-rock sound they were going for the last go around.
“On It’s Easy, the idea was to get the bare-bones structure of the songs down, then layer on top of it, but we kinda ran out of time,” says bassist Jared Milos. “This time around, we really got to flesh out the songs with horns and synths and guest artists. I think we’re much happier with the ‘completeness’ of this record.”
The fuller sound can certainly be attributed to the amount of time they put into the album —“It’s Easy” was released in July 2012. They have been gigging a lot—they did a monthly residency at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, several small tours, and got invited many times to play in the poster room at the Fillmore while acts like Violent Femmes, They Might Be Giants, and Neon Trees played the main stage. However, when they weren’t playing out, they made a point not to rush the writing and recording process for their self-titled album.
Anyone interested in getting a sneak peek of the record can check out lead single “My Sunshine” (They’re also taking pre-orders for the album on Bandcamp). The band’s lineup currently is Milos on bass, Andrew Heine on Rhodes piano/guitar/lead vocals, Colin Hayes on guitar, and Ramon Esquivel on drums. “My Sunshine” is kind of a new take on the “one that got away” trope. It’s about someone taking romantic interest in you while you’re already in a relationship, and then you decide to stay in your current relationship and not pursue the new love.
“I’ve heard a lot of music about flings and white-hot romances but there’s something infinitely more badass about sticking it out for the long haul and staying happy about it. Which, contrary to romantic fiction, doesn’t happen accidentally. It takes intention,” says Heine.