Sheep, Dog and Wolf – debut album


Sheep, Dog & Wolf Photo: Ali Burns

Sheep, Dog & Wolf
Photo: Ali Burns

In June 2011, I wrote about Sheep, Dog & Wolf’s debut EP. Back then we were listening to a young man announcing and claiming a unique musical identity.

After emerging from a year’s hard graft in his bedroom studio I said:

Far from being a closeted homage to teen-self however, McBride has created a homogeneous set of songs, and while complex in their devoted arrangements, they have a comfy folk art appeal that remain fun to listen to as you admire his abilities. Clever.

Daniel McBride took Sheep, Dog & Wolf to Wellington – left them in the basement by day while he studied at Uni, brought them out at night to play. This month sees his debut album released.

Despite my assertion that his earlier recording wasn’t simply a navel gazing affair, the new album, as the title might suggest, is part an exercise in self-determination. Now signed to Lil’ Chief Records, the press release for ‘Egospect’ says:

McBride describes his artistic process at the time as an inspection of himself, hence the title ‘Egospect’. Each of its ten tracks are introspective, and reflect whatever particular emotion McBride was feeling at the time of recording each song. So here we have on record – a diary or time capsule if you will of insecurities (Breathe), fears (Nothing, Probably) and on a lighter note, hopes for the future of a teenager entering adulthood.

Sheep, Dog & Wolf Photo: Ali Burns

Sheep, Dog & Wolf
Photo: Ali Burns

While this may have fuelled his song-writing, it hasn’t cramped his ability to continue to craft warm, clever, lively songs.

It is becoming clear that despite his multi-instrumental abilities, developing academia (studying composition at Victoria University), and fascination to weave structure, it doesn’t hinder his ability to craft elegant pop. McBride allows space to compete with his desire to craft that perfect song – breathing space – he knows as well as we do; the problem with clever bastards is they think too much.

‘Egospect’ captures the listener on many levels, embrace its musical literature, or simply bask in its pop wealth.

I dig making play-lists, in fact not one song in my iTunes isn’t allocated a play-list. Three bands however defy my ability to group, they have a list of their own called ‘This is futurepop’.

They are: Micachu, Deerhoof, and Sheep, Dog & Wolf; marvellously living in a world of their own.

Sheep, Dog & Wolf have record release gigs in Wellington (Puppies, Thursday 22 August), and Auckland (Golden Dawn, Saturday 24 August).

You can get the single on Bandcamp now and pre-order the entire album (release 23 August 2013) for $0.50 USD (yes, that’s $0.50 USD).

Sheep, Dog & Wolf Photo: Asher James

Sheep, Dog & Wolf’s Daniel McBride
Photo: Asher James