NPR FOR DA DEF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t, Yo

drdogcolor.jpgTHE WORLD CAFE
Listen to this story...Filtering classic rock and pop hooks through a willfully lo-fi aesthetic a la Pavement or Guided by Voices, Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog sounds both timeless and immediate. Formed in 1999 as a recording project for two members of the more traditional indie-rock band Raccoon, Dr. Dog became a full-time gig when Raccoon folded in the early ’00s. Dr. Dog’s first two records, 2001’s Psychedelic Swamp and 2002’s Toothbrush, were both self-released but failed to make an impact outside of the Philadelphia area. Still, the band’s fortunes changed when My Morning Jacket’s Jim James handpicked Dr. Dog to open for My Morning Jacket for its 2004 tour. Subsequently picked up by an indie label for 2005’s Easy Beat, the group won raves for its combination of psychedelic pop hooks and Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies.

Dr. Dog’s new We All Belong is shaping up to be its most powerful and cohesive artistic statement yet. Buoyed by the band’s large and growing following, the disc — which delves into what members call “three-part harmonies, the out-of-doors, soya rotis, baking bread and diminished chords” — should help break Dr. Dog through to a larger and even more enthusiastic audience.

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