News: New Zealand’s Office Dog announce signing to New West Records, unveil debut album ‘Spiel’ and entice us with the charming single ‘Big Air’.

Feature Photograph: Violet Hurst

Signed to the legendary Flying Nun label in the southern hemisphere and with genetic roots to that mecca of indie music, Dunedin, new outfit Office Dog have expanded their horizons by signing to northern hemisphere label New West Records. To give a delectable taste of what’s ahead, the band, featuring Dunedin’s Kane Strang, have unleashed an amuse bouche in the form of the single ‘Big Air’. As an added complexity to the whole process, Office Dog have released their debut album ‘Spiel’ down under today, but for those in the northern hemisphere, you will have to wait until 26 January 2024. Yes, we are nearly next year already.

Office Dog, hailing from Ōtepoti/Dunedin and residing in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland are a trio led by Kane Strang on guitar/vocals alongside Rassani Tolovaaon on bass and Mitchell Inneson on drums.

‘Big Air’ has all the charm and coolness of what you would expect from a band with links to Dunedin (home, of course to the legendary The Bats, The Chills and The Clean). Twanging guitars and pounding drums give way to a lush wall of sound and distant, louche vocals that are slightly disassociated and discombobulated. The effect is something quite enchanting and psychedelic, a low-fi buzz that ambles along with an insistent drive.

The lyrics fittingly have a naïve charm and innocence about them – with a delicate thread of melancholia as they depict ambition and risk with a insouciant shrug:

Sinking’s just fine
Now I know the lake
I can’t feel nobody else
I can’t feel no pain
I got big air
Flew and landed strange
Now even though the noise is gone
Still the echo stays
Sunshine on your face

The accompanying video, directed by long-time collaborator Sophie Black, is a charming depiction of the follies of youth that is perfectly sound tracked by the wistful innocent nature of the song.

Strang says of the lyrics:

Lyrically I think it’s about life’s peaks and troughs and how sometimes with a big high there’s a heavy low that follows.

Of the video, he says:

I like that it just focuses on this first part – the comedown never comes and it’s just these three kids having a day completely to themselves, catching some big air.

It’s a big air we can all embrace with joy:

Strang says of the album:

We’re so proud of this record and poured everything we have into these songs. To have it come out at home and in Australia is honestly such a weight off, and having New West get on board for the global release early next year is a complete honour, too.

In the southern hemisphere, you can buy and stream the album now (review to come) here and through the link below:

And given we are a global publication, in the northern hemisphere, the album can be pre-saved here in a variety of formats.

Office Dog are soon heading on tour in celebration of their debut in Aotearoa, paying their hometown Ōtepoti a visit, as well as Ōtautahi, Pōneke and Tāmaki Makaurau, brought to you by 100% Good & Under the radar — tickets available here

Feature Photograph: Violet Hurst

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