Bark Dog – ‘holding pattern’


Touting a meshing of lush jangly rock and intriguing electronic soundscapes, holding pattern is the creative new album from Bark Dog, the Boston-based project of nonbinary songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and artist Blair Jasper.

The album impresses in its eclectic stylistic reach, evident from the get-go with the opening “sample and hold.” Buzzing synths and hectic percussion coexist with a spacey backing shimmer, reminding of Ohneotrix Point Never’s electronic production. The mid-point reveals a twangy, rock demeanor that shifts considerably from the more electronic-minded opening. “What can I say to you…” the vocals sing longingly here, crafting a calming haze. Right away, holding pattern intrigues.

Similarly compelling with its fusing of twangy rock with electronic flourishes, “dinghy” reflects the suddenness of washing ashore on a beach, lyrically reflected, as jangly guitar flashes intertwine with chilly synths. Eerie synth work adds to the riveting soundscape in the second half. “the last house party ever” also engages with its late-night rock jangles and yearning multi-vocal dynamics.

These more rock/pop minded efforts coexist cohesively with synth-laden successes, like the quaintly effective closer “is there a place.” Sleepy synth tones and robotic vocal effects lead a stirring aesthetic, reminding fondly of The Knife’s wintry synth-pop and vocal manipulation. holding pattern is another success within the prolific discography of Bark Dog.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of March 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup. The submitter accepted our content-based offer, which included financial compensation for our time writing, editing, and publishing this article.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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