The Dodos: Individ
The Dodos — Individ
Release Date: Jan. 27
Our Rating: 4.7/5
Spec Recs: “Competition,” “Retriever,” “Pattern/Shadow”
In one word: Evocative
The Dodos’ new album Individ, out now on Polyvinyl Records, is an excellent follow up to Carrier. Recorded in quick succession after the band’s previous album, it continues along on the same musical trajectory, echoing some sounds and ideas from the prior album, but at the same time returning with a heavier focus on the dynamic of the guitar and drums that lie at their roots. This gives the release heavily introspective vibes, where the artists reflect upon who they are as a band, and who they have been.
The album opens with “Precipitation,” which serves as the perfect launching point for this album. Reminiscent of “Confidence” off of their prior album, it starts off quietly and introspective, building up until it becomes a full-energy rock song that throws the listener into the rest of the album. “Competition” brings some amazingly layered guitar tracks and crisp vocals that elevate both the sound and listener to a high point in the middle of album, before slowing down to think for a spell. “Retriever” is one of the more grungy tracks on the album, with a heavily distorted guitar track that scrambles the listener, and clear vocals and harmonies bring them back to equilibrium. The final song on the Individ, “Pattern/Shadow,” perfectly highlights the movements of the band as of late. The recognition that actively morphing their sound to cater to changing times has the potential to diminish their own artistic integrity is present in lyrics like, “Your shadow remains / I cannot resist / The mirrored escape / Of your pattern.” Instead, the members have opted to stay true to themselves as musicians and to the music they are known to produce. The track takes its time and is the longest song on the album. Great transitions — from strictly epic rock sections to powerful lyrical sections — and the featured vocals of Thee Oh Sees‘ Bridget Dawson combine to create a powerful track that not only closes out the album, but also points to the future of the band.
Vocalist and guitarist Meric Long said it best, “Carrier was about breaking habits, recognizing and imagining yourself away from the washing machine that has you trapped. That’s why the cover image was of someone watching a tornado go away from him. This record is about accepting what is natural for you or maybe even a part of you. Individ is what it sounds like inside the tornado.” A powerful return to form, Individ shows The Dodos’ knowledge of who they are, and where they come from. More importantly, it shows that they are not finished producing epic rock albums and that we can anticipate more amazing, thought-provoking works to come in the future.
See The Dodos live at Crescent Ballroom on Sunday Feb. 15. The show is 16+ and tickets, $14-$16, are on sale now. Doors open at 7 P.M. and the show begins at 8 P.M..