Therapy Dog is the solo project of Josh Hicks. He recently released Spilling Milk and Getting Ants. Apparently the music got comparisons to Bright Eyes even though Hicks never heard of them before. I thought the same thing having been a fan of Bright Eyes since my college days about twenty years ago. In fact it seemed like there we tips of the hat to multiple eras of Bright Eyes.
Spilling Milk and Getting Ants is pretty varied in terms of style even though there are only five songs. The EP opens with “Breath In, Breath Out” which has a pensive, reflective feel to the music. It doesn't sound too far away emotionally and lyrically from an artist like Julien Baker. The song builds until it finally explodes in an anthemic post-rock-esque type section.
The approach to the music changes slightly with “Keeping Up Appearances”. There is a little more of a straight alternative 90’s vibe to the music here. It’s arguably the most catchy song and the vocal similarities to Conor Oberst are apparent on this track.
“That’s How You Get Ants” is a complete 180. Hicks plays into alt-country angle which was perhaps the highlight. It’s a really catchy song but have to admit it the song felt it came out of nowhere if you listen to the EP sequentially.
Up next is”Northcote” which is a slower and more melancholy song than anything that came before. Hicks pulls it off. Last up is the much more upbeat “Spilled Milk”. My favorite lyrics were about the cliches of a young songwriter and unrequited love.
My only issue with Spilling Milk and Getting Ants is the songs felt pretty separate from each other at least stylistically. It’s not like Hicks was doing hip-hop or anything but some more cohesion with the style would have made the experience feel more seamless and fluid.
Overall, I was impressed with his talent in multiple areas. I look forward to hearing more soon.
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