Dogs can pick up on conflict. Portland, OR six-piece Ezra Bell see things from the eyes of the canine in new single “Shhh … The Dog Is Sleeping,” off the the band’s new album This Way To Oblivion (Dutch Records), out April 3.
“You do your best to fall in love and be loved, then comes that strange moment when you realize you’re a fool,” the band tells American Songwriter. “Your lover’s ideas and ambitions are beyond you, and all you can do is apologize and hope the dog hasn’t caught whiff of the discord.”
Back in 2013, the band—made up of vocalist Benjamin Wuamett, keyboardist and guitarist Jeremy Asay, bassist, Maurice Spencer, drummer Tom Trotter (drums), Aaron Mattison on horns, percussionist Honora Hildreth (backing vocals and percussion)—released some EPs and played around and things stuck, releasing their self-titled debut by 2018.
There’s no finite genre for Ezra Bell, but they manage to concoct some form of experimental, blues and funk-rock to get their messages across. Titles like “Shhh… The Dog Is Sleeping” shouldn’t surprise fans of Ezra Bell, who already offered up tracks like “A Jug in the Road” and “Worship the Lightbulb” off their 2018 self-titled debut.
On “Shhh… The Dog Is Sleeping,” Ezra Bell sets the humorous tone for This Way to Oblivion, tapping into some funky, psych Ween obscurity in this lovelorn tale with Wuamett singing And if you think that we should drink each other’s blood / Slice me open, what the hell … I get the goosebumps just remembering your name / The shameless hope behind your eyes... But once you realize that you’ll never save the world / The next best bet is burn it down.
“We’re not proud of being fooled,” says the band. “But pride itself is foolish. And neither foolishness nor pride can clean the damn dog hair off the couch.”