Doggy Paddle

Independent • 2021

The Toronto band’s debut full length is a melancholic shoegaze meditation on ageing and companionship.

Ever since the Toronto rock band Greenhouse released their single “Greyhound” and accompanying video (embedded above), I have been ready to hear more. Their full-length album Doggy Paddle delivers on all the artistic intelligence teased in that first music video, which features a retired racing dog and his human companion. The story seems to draw on the fragility that catches up with all of us eventually, experimenting with pacing and effects to create an ambience that lingers and lives precariously throughout the whole album. 

In an interview with MELTED, the band reflects on the making of “Greyhound”: “The main guitar riff is sort of heavy and driving. It carries on without really looking back. The chorus opens things up a bit. Then, the instrumental/breakdown portion feels dramatic. It outlines this process of realizing your own decline.” This cycle of driving forward, opening up, breaking down, and coming together is present throughout Doggy Paddle, aptly titled after the instinctive flailing we do to stay afloat when thrown into situations we weren’t necessarily taught to navigate gracefully.

The low and slow drone on “Crush” has just the right blend of dreamy ambience and grit, fronting with raw vocals and building to a heavy-handed rock-beat. Although much of the lyrics and riffs capture the anguish of progressing imperfectly, the overall sound resembles the infectious, all-consuming feeling of jamming with strangers in the darkness of a divebar. By diving directly into those natural moments of decline, Greenhouse has produced a melancholic shoegaze meditation on ageing and companionship, a collection of bangers to get lost in.

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