Dog Orchestra’s “Broke” is a big song. Car commercial big. A tale of millennial materialism and emotional greed, the pristine production and brooding vocals referencing $100 haircuts, Coco Chanel sunglasses, and Zooey Deschanel, make it a standout track of 2016.
It’s also the opening song on the Stockholm/Berlin-based duo’s debut EP Meow that we are streaming below.
Mixed by Grammy award-winning producer Darrel Thorp, who has worked with Beck and Gnarls Barkley, the EP, which includes the singles “Hotel” and “CLUB Fragil (ft. Lune),” mixes inventive dreamlike production with considered lyrics. The fact that Daniel DePierre and Niklas Malmborg alternate between production and words has helped them create something greater than your average dream-pop experience.
Take a listen to the tracks and read a brief chat we had with Daniel and Niklas.
Noisey: The lyrics in “Broke” are every evocative. Was there a real 18-carat Jesus and poolside Chardonnay?
Niklas Malmborg: Yeah, but Jesus is no longer in the picture and he might have been 14-carat tbh.
The song focuses on materialism over love? Is it based around a real person or relationship?
Daniel DePierre: It’s based on a situation we were in when we were living in Berlin but we like the idea of everyone having their own interpretation. Obviously the lyrics speak for themselves to a point but we’ve heard heartfelt translations that are just as moving and perceptive as anything we felt when writing it and we don’t want to take that away from them. As for the rest, fiction or fact, we’ll leave that up to you, but we haven’t yet been faced with any murder charges… so innocent until proven guilty.
Often this electronic pop is considered atmospheric and moody but a little vapid. You’ve spent time on lyrics.
Niklas: Definitely. Even if the emotional punch of the music usually has the biggest impact, the lyrics are what makes you really relate to a song once you’re over your initial crush. Sometimes the music is good enough to infuse whatever lyrics you have with meaning, and sometimes the lyrics are good enough to carry a song, but we’ve always tried to find a balance between the two so they don’t do each other any disfavors. The essence of Dog Orchestra is about capturing life as it happens so we don't overthink words either. We try to hold up funhouse mirrors to the world around us. Like, is it just us or are things really this fucked up/hard/painfully beautiful?!
You are from Stockholm but now based in Berlin. Do you think young people are different in Stockholm as they are in Berlin or New York?
Daniel: Deep down people are the same everywhere. Having said that, you adjust to the heartbeat of the city. In Stockholm you’re privileged and anxious about getting things right, whereas in gritty/work-in-progress cities like Berlin you slow down and take time to lose yourself. The pace and bright lights of New York mean you don’t have time to miss being somewhere else and you focus on whatever's shining the brightest.
Niklas: Stockholm is the home we keep wanting to leave. Since we haven't given up on the socialist paradise it could and should be, we'll probably always pay our taxes in Sweden though. Berlin is a lover we'll always come back to, and whom we might very well run off with for good once we get old. New York is great for taxicabs and haircuts.
‘Meow’ is available Aug 12.