Hey everyone, I’m Tyler…a new writer in these parts. To quote Mississippi John Hurt “I’m a poor ol’ boy, a long way from home.” Bred in Boston, now surviving the hell of Los Angeles as best I can. At least I have good music to carry me through the hour commute to work. Ungh. Anyhoo, I hope to share the music I dig and I hope to hear about a lot of new stuff too. Shoot me an email anytime, lets talk folk.
The Dodos (formerly Dodo Bird), are hard to categorize. On one hand, there’s the riff-driven emotional intensity of contemporary indie staples such as The Shins or Explosions in the Sky. At the same time, though, are bluesy barn-burning fingerpicked arpeggios, psychedelic meanderings, and even a trombone or two. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Meric Long skillfully pulls a page from John Lennon’s acoustic pop playbook, delivering hooks that never fail to intrigue or defy convention.
If for nothing else, check out The Dodos’ debut LP “Beware of the Maniacs” for the guitar work alone. Long torches the fretboard with his nimble fingerwork on songs such as “Chickens” where the virtuosity of his speed, dynamics, and clarity evoke artists as disparate as John Fahey to Elliott Smith. The Dodos’ aren’t ones to gloat, though. For all his talent, Meric Long knows when to reel in the bag of tricks to craft simple, elegant folk songs (“Bob”). Theirs is a sound that is as restrained as it is refined, as subtle as it is blunt.
The Dodos don’t claim to have the answers. In the end, “Beware of the Maniacs” is angsty, impatient, and thoroughly enjoyable – despite its flaws.
[photo by Jeremy Harris]