Perplexed by what to listen to in the puzzling interim period between D.C. summer and fall? Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new album Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling seamlessly blends breezy, nostalgic instrumentals and melancholic lyrics to remedy your seasonal confusion.
In Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling, the group pays homage to earlier trademarks of their sound through the genres of rock and folk, while blazing confidently ahead into a new territory of indie pop and alt-country. Lead singer Jake Ewald (formerly part of Philadelphia emo band Modern Baseball) continues to prove his strength as a seasoned storyteller, creating powerful love stories that transport the listener to a different space. The album also features the band’s signature lyricism; each song sounds like it could be performed at an intimate slam poetry gathering in the dimly lit basement of a local bar, but is instead translated into musical form for listeners everywhere to enjoy.
In “Strange Weather,” one of the album’s standout songs, Ewald laments the ebb and flow of romantic love. The song’s lazy instrumentals and twangy guitar chords evoke images of floating down a slow river on a warm day, directly contrasting with its hard-hitting lyrics about love and loss. “Float Away” continues this river imagery, employing a nostalgic tune to create a sense of saudade—a longing for someone or something that is no longer present.
Slaughter Beach, Dog’s Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling is a stunning exploration of intimacy and memory that is guaranteed to be a consistent companion through all D.C.’s inconsistent seasons, through your misplaced nostalgia, and this “Strange Weather.”
Photo Credit: Slaughter Beach, Dog
Annika is a Junior in the SFS studying Culture & Politics, and also is one of the INDY’s commentary editors. Annika likes stepping on crunchy leaves in the fall, “Strange Weather” by Slaughter Beach, Dog, and WMATA’s G2 bus.