Dr. Dog today announced their self-titled new album—and first LP in six years—will be released on July 19th, 2024. They’ve also shared its irresistible, feel-good lead single “Talk Is Cheap,” alongside a Wyndham Garnett-directed video featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the band, captured during the album’s recording sessions. Graced with jangling grooves, the single is a love song written by bassist Toby Leaman. “It’s a song about my wife and how much I rely on her, how she’s always there for me,” he explains. “It’s funny because I’m not a big love-song guy, but everything I wrote on this album is for her.” “Talk Is Cheap”—which follows last month’s standalone single and additional album track, “Still Can’t Believe”—is a fitting introduction to the record, embodying the essence of Dr. Dog: a collection that stays true to the band’s ever-eclectic and animated spirit, shifting from soul to surf-rock to symphonic pop with an exuberance made all the more impactful by their revitalized creative energy. Its video is a heartfelt, organic peek into their reborn methods of making music together: spontaneous, kinetic and perfectly imperfect. Dr. Dog is now available for pre-order HERE.

For more than two decades, Dr. Dog have maintained a shared devotion to the unruly alchemy of making music. When it came time to create their 11th studio album, the Philadelphia-bred band adopted an entirely new way of working together, embracing a multilayered process designed to foster an even deeper synergy among its five members (Leaman, lead guitarist Scott McMicken, rhythm guitarist Frank McElroy, keyboardist Zach Miller, and drummer Eric Slick). Dr. Dog began their journey with a close-knit session at Leaman’s uncle’s cabin (featured here in the “Talk Is Cheap” video), and steadily made their way toward the joyfully unfettered psych-rock of their new self-titled LP. Dr. Dog reveals a band–over twenty years into their storied career–growing together and evolving, fully committed to the singular work of dreaming up songs that brighten the mind and expand the soul.

Mixed by multi-Grammy-winner Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Drive-By Truckers), Dr. Dog finds McMicken taking the helm as producer for the first time in the history of the decidedly egalitarian band. “I moved to Asheville a while back and built a little yard-shed studio that’s changed my whole perspective on music,” he says. “Because you’re in a shed, there’s no pretense that what’s happening is very serious—but over time, that sense of playfulness ends up allowing for more serious things to happen. When we started planning this new album, it felt right to try to merge my universes and make a Dr. Dog record the same way I was making records every day in my backyard.”  

Made in three distinct phases, Dr. Dog first took shape during a five-day stint at the Pennsylvania cabin, where the band recorded live to McMicken’s 8-track tape machine with no rehearsal and no overdubs. “For this record there was an emphasis on creating something very soulful and live-feeling, which meant starting with all of us looking each other in the eye and connecting to the music,” says McMicken. “The idea was, ‘Let’s be loose, let’s not overthink.’ The more you can let go of that fear of being imperfect, the more you open yourself up to deeper expression.” The band tracked nearly two dozen songs at the cabin, and then each member returned home and immersed himself in adding new texture and detail to those free-flowing recordings. Dr. Dog met up again for the third and final phase at their Philadelphia studio, where they reviewed the revised material and finalized each track before rounding out the album with their signature five-part harmonies. 

Creating such an expansive body of work required plenty of intensive communication between bandmates. “I knew that the music was only going to be as good as the process, and that the process would be defined by our support for one another,” McMicken says. “That meant learning to understand each other in new ways and recognizing how we’ve all evolved, rather than holding onto old ideas of who we used to be.” To that end, the album’s eponymous title essentially serves as a celebration of Dr. Dog’s camaraderie. “There isn’t really a concept or cohesive idea that unifies this collection of tunes,” says McMicken. “In the end it’s about us being together, doing the work, and showing up as our truest selves.” 

While the making of Dr. Dog in many ways marked a period of profound change for the band, the album also owes much to the resolute self-reliance that’s long defined their creative partnership. “We’ve never been the kind of band to say, ‘What’s the hot new sound? Let’s do that,’” says Leaman. “It’s much more about exploring what excites us, and asking ourselves if what we’re creating makes us happy and makes us proud. As long as we’re staying relevant to ourselves, that’s really all that matters.” McMicken adds: “This record was made of many choices, but they’re all rooted in the understanding that music is such a powerful tool for connection—both with your collaborators, and with all the people who exist on the other side of the speaker.”

Dr. Dog Tracklist:

1. Authority

2. Lost Ones

3. Fat Dog

4. Talk Is Cheap

5. What a Night’ll Do

6. Tell Your Friends

7. Still Can’t Believe

8. Fine White Lies

9. White Dove

10. Handyman

11. Love Struck

Photo Credit: Wyndham Garnett

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