For the last year and a half Zack Marshall has been writing, producing and recording his forthcoming EP due fall 2019 under the name Dog Basketball. The Denver-based project was adapted to a live band including Jack Long, Ben Eberle, and Kylie Ludvig, members of Denver punk/hardcore bands Use the Sun and Screwtape. Marshall, a former member of his high school band Use the Sun, took a departure from his roots in emo, pop punk and math rock in favor of a more pop-oriented, mellow, abstract electronic sound.
The EP’s lead single, “Ghost Dust Falcon Crest,” is reflective of the, as Marshall says, “moody/off-kilter electronic indie pop w/ jazz and ambient influences.” Using samples and field recordings of “bones, coins, birds, metal gates, etc for either percussive purposes or atmospheric / impressionistic purposes,” the single will remind some listeners a bit initially of IDM artists that favor the use of organic sounds in their tracks like Boards of Canada but the song quickly evolves into a delicate, introspective pop song. While tempting to compare the song to some music by Microphones, for which there are certainly resonances, it might be better compared to Clairo’s brand of lo-fi pop and its intimate and personal character.
Ahead of the November 22 release of the EP, mixed and mastered by Berlin-based producer Dan Taro, formerly of Denver and who contributed production elements, Dog Basketball is releasing the video for “Gold Dust Falcon Crest.” Looking like a cross between a 1980s public access art or nature video with the glitches and visual quality to match the gloriously refined amateur sound of the music. It’s a complete aesthetic. Directed by Nick Goforth, the video was filmed in Estes Park, Colorado and inspired by the genre of found footage and “lost tapes” that you can find all over YouTube and the internet in generally if you go looking and which has been the subject and aesthetic of multiple movies, often in the realm of horror. While not horrific minus large cockroaches toward the end, the video is meant to convey a sense of being followed by something out of sight. Like the song, more impressionistic than defined, it invites the imagination to contemplate what it might mean and where it might go from finding the mysterious book. It draws you in to the kind of mystery the lead character in the video is experiencing and thus a sense of wonder. The video and song are analogs of one another while complementing each other perfectly.
Watch the video below and catch Dog Basketball at DIME in Denver on October 25 and on November 1 at 40 West Studios for a Halloween-themed video game soundtrack covers set. Follow the project at the links provided below.
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