Jake Ewald of the band Slaughter Beach, Dog brings another vibe to his musical repertoire with his newest album, “Birdie.” As one of the lead singer/songwriters of the underground emo-rock band Modern Baseball, Ewald created Slaughter Beach, Dog, an indie-rock project, as an outlet for writer’s block. The name “Slaughter Beach, Dog” originates from a real town in Delaware, but he tacked “Dog” on the end because the name “Slaughter Beach” was already taken by another band. “Birdie” was released on Oct. 27, less than three months after the band’s second EP, “Motorcycle.” The band released their debut album, “Welcome,” on Sept. 30, 2016.
Slower-paced than its grungier predecessors, the soft guitars in “Birdie” are comforting yet wistful. “Phoenix” begins by easing the listener in with a lilting stroll of a melody. The second track, “Gold and Green,” was a single released in August. Upbeat lyrics and bouncy beats make this song perfect for dancing in the kitchen. “Pretty O.K.” and “Bad Beer,” two easy going tracks, segue into even slower “Shapes I Know.” The pace picks back up again with “Sleepwalking,” a short ballad that describes the downward spiral of a long-distance relationship. References to places in Philadelphia strung throughout the album pay homage to the band’s roots. “Buttercup” lingers, drawing out the words slowly but surely.
Though the music is warm, some of the lyrics are somber. “Fish Fry” is about drunkenly missing someone, and features the melancholy lyrics, “see you before I up and leave/ Tear out my hair and walk home wasted.” The final track, “Acolyte,” is sweetly romantic, emulating dappled sunlight on a fall day: warm with some cool shadows. Evenly-paced and steady, “Birdie” is Ewald’s foray into a relaxed, more acoustic sound.