For two decades, first as Casiotone For The Painfully Alone and now as Advance Base, Owen Ashworth has used twinkling keyboards and his resigned baritone to spin economical character studies into songs of affectingly downcast beauty. His latest, Animal Companionship, is sort of a concept album about the bond between humans and their pets that started out as an attempt to get back to writing love songs, as Ashworth told us in our recent interview with him.
The album’s lead single, “True Love Death Dream,” used the concept of animal companionship as a jumping off point to tell a tragic love story and meditate on grief, whereas new song “Dolores & Kimberly” jettisons the dog theme entirely. Instead, it’s an oblique love story told through a nostalgic lens, set to electric piano arpeggiations and a dusty pedal steel.
“‘Dolores & Kimberly’ is a fictional story about a person who, for unknown reasons, has abandoned their family and moved to a different state to start a new life with a person they met on the internet,” Ashworth explained to The Fader, where the track premiered. “They experience simultaneous feelings of guilt and relief, plus the strange excitement of starting all over again. The music was inspired by Joe Meek, Bruce Springsteen, and Patsy Cline, among others.” Listen below.
Animal Companionship is out 9/21 via Run For Cover / Orindal. Pre-order it here.