The Newtown Sessions - Dog Bite
Phil Jones was previously the keyboardist for Washed Out, but now he's carving out a niche for himself as an innovative recording artist in his own right, under the name Dog Bite.
Phil Jones is a man carving out a niche for himself as an innovative recording artist in his own right, under the name Dog Bite. Previously as a keyboardist for Washed Out, Jones creates beautiful pop tunes in the same way clever contemporary visual artists like Scott Garner are making installations by replacing the worn out concepts of the day, with fresh new ideas. The objects in Garner's project entitled still life are not inanimate - they move freely inside a constantly changing frame, taking on a life of their own.
Jones re-arranges parts of his songs in a similar vein, as though the notes are constantly evolving in a set of post-punk vintage tones. Jones elsewhere describes himself as "trying to live in the future" and his music as "combining all your hopes and dreams, fusing them with grapes and butterflies, and then laying them out on a tray with sliced oranges." Still life redux, indeed.
It may be that Jones is referring to some of the tools he uses for his work. He re-imagines many of the Scottish post-punk bands of the 1980's, such as Orange Juice and many of the other bands on Postcard Records and the early C86 tape and Factory Records home of Joy Division and New Order, and may other imprints/fanzines that captured the spirit of the post-punk movement.
Dog Bite's sound has a smooth and crisp quality, unlike anything really we've ever heard recently, certainly unlike other Cocteau Twins copycats, and it also has a warmth and energy reminiscent of one of our favorite post punk bands of this era, The Durutti Column.
Dog Bite's most recent record from this year is a full-length LP entitled, Velvet Changes on Carpark Records. This most recent effort from Jones lays down subtle hooks and warm melodies with twists and turns coming from the members of the band. Previously, the excellent UK label Young Turks took notice and put out Dog Bite's first 7" and EP. Now he is joined by his good friends and excellent band mates just wrapping a US tour with Toro y Moi. We can only imagine what the future holds for Jones, for now, his music speaks for itself.
Watch as Dog Bite performs "Forever, Until" and "Prettiest Pills" in this recent session, here.
Listen to the full recording, here.