One of my absolute favorite things about The Dodos last record No Color was the inclusion of a bonus track where the San Francisco duo teamed up with the Magik*Magik Orchestra for a reworking of standout album track "Black Night". It added an additional layer to their already pretty impressive song composition powers while not completely transforming the track into a new one. The perfect balance was achieved between The Dodos themselves being present and handling their own melodies and percussion and the Magik*Magik Orchestra being involved and not just added little unnecessary string flourishes.
So when I learned that recently The Dodos and the Magik*Magik Orchestra teamed up again, this time for a track from The Dodos new album Carrier, out in mere days, I was pretty excited. Not only was it a chance to hear another new song from what has thus far been shaping up to be a pretty dynamite record but I was fairly certain it'd be easy to distinguish what was The Dodos' original composition from the Magik*Magik Orchestra's wonderful inclusion.
"The Ocean" or rather this arrangement of it, is probably hands down the most down tempo Dodos song of their entire four album career. Normally featuring balls-to-the-wall energy alongside a strategic layering. That said, it doesn't drag. True to form, Logan Kroeber's role isn't just reduce to metronome and before long he's pushing the track forward while Meric Long continues his rare almost purely vocal showcase. Among the track's casual ebb and flow, Long also adds a sort of tension-building pseudo-dissonant guitar riff which the Magik*Magik Orchestra compliment both in their smooth call-and-response and their tiny barbs. It's a pretty winning combination as each piece fits perfectly together into The Dodos unexpectedly soothing track.
What can be gleaned from "The Ocean" if not all of the singles released thus far is The Dodos are doing things a little bit differently on Carrier and it's both refreshing and still very in character. It's enough to give me very high hopes for Carrier and luckily we won't have to wait very long to see what else The Dodos have up their sleeves.
The Dodos' fourth full length album Carrier is out August 20th on Polyvinyl Records.