Stream Alexei Shishkin The Dog Tape (Stereogum Premiere)
There are a lot of albums about transitions, but most aren’t as outwardly tormented as Alexei Shishkin’s quiet offering The Dog Tape. It’s a record about moving, about loneliness, about sitting on dorm room floors wondering where the hell you are and why the fuck you thought it was smart to end up there. These are distressing songs told through humble recording techniques, Shishkin eliminating any sense of total devastation with his lackadaisical delivery. On The Dog Tape, everything kind of sucks, but Shiskin communicates this suckiness through carefully strung melodies that stick despite their anxious undertones. Perhaps the best example of this quality is on the album’s second track “Goodbye Chile.” Shishkin’s voice quavers subtly as his narrator recalls driving drunk while listening to Destroyer’s 2006 album Destroyer’s Rubies, but his cadences lilt with a call-and-response sing-song quality that hacks away at any of the song’s implied seriousness. On “Santa Cruz,” Shishkin relates his thesis statement, the ideology that makes this record a lovely rather than harrowing experience to listen to. “Will I get back up again, or will I just stay down and whine about it?” he implores. The Dog Tape will be released next week on Forged Artifacts. Stream the album in its entirety and watch a video for the final track “Ghost God” below.