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May 30, 2011 | by  | in Music |
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Spotlight on Sheep,Dog&Wolf

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up who’s doing the musical rounds, locally speaking. Some artists don’t make it past their first video (will our children appreciate Dei Hamo’s ‘We Gon’ Ride’ as much as we did?), and others stick to their guns/drums. And speaking of which, Daniel McBride from the former teen-sensation Bandicoot didn’t solely stick to his drums following the break up of the bFM chart-topping trio. His recent solo project Sheep,Dog&Wolf is a perfect demonstration of McBride’s sheer dedication to musical practice. The May 15th release Ablutophobia not only bears resemblance to sophisticated influences such as Sufjan Stevens, but also shows off McBride’s sheer skill as an instrumentalist: on the EP he plays drums, saxophone, piano, guitar, clarinet, and just casually ‘picked up’ euphonium and cello simply because he thought it was necessary within the music. This is shown in the music through its orientation towards a recognisable goal, without resorting to harmonic clichés in place of noodling melodies. The attention to detail is tributary to the nine months in which McBride spent ‘obsessively writing’ the EP in his makeshift bedroom studio, borrowing instruments and gear as he saw fit.

Following his release of ‘Tamefires’ on his Myspace page, friends and followers eagerly awaited Ablutophobia which was released in full on May 15th. Track one, ‘Ablutophobia’, instantly grabbed my attention. It’s organic, yet technical, it hearkens to a wide range of influences while maintaining a very original and cohesive style which is distinctly McBride’s own. And his vocals seem to channel the maturity of someone five years his senior, both in spirit and timbre. Oh yeah, did I mention he’s seventeen? (He’s seventeen.)

Time for a disclaimer: I get a bit weak in the knees when vocals sing in unison, so for me personally listening to this was pretty much ear candy. The kind of candy you can buy in a health-food store and makes you feel good inside and out because it is just that damn wholesome. And then you’re treated to four more love tracks, ‘Not Aqautic’ again pushing forward the unison voice in a big way ( imagine if about five Avey Tares had sung on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack perhaps). McBride’s influences are noticeably varied, although complexity seems to be the recurring theme: from his background in jazz saxophone, such as greats Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis. The rest of the EP is a collection of delicious musical warm fuzzies that make you wish you’d taken every itinerant music class at high school and practiced your butt off. Perhaps McBride is a young Sufjan in the making, or perhaps his next release will be in the style of Flying Lotus (another of his influences), however in the mean time we can only hope Sheep,Dog&Wolf will be brought outside of McBride’s sleeping quarters to stage with him leading a 12-piece band. And if Ablutophobia is anything to go by, McBride is well capable of leading the band as he is sitting at the back on is drums. I suspect that whatever psuendonym he may use in future, Daniel McBride is going to become a name that you hear more and more often frequently in the music industry, and to me, this can only mean great impending things for local music and from McBride.

Recommended tracks: ‘Ablutophobia EP’ is available on McBride’s bandcamp for a pay what’cha like deal, sheepdogwolf.bandcamp.com

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  1. aitken says:

    fuck man this is really good

  2. Dolley says:

    That isinght’s perfect for what I need. Thanks!

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