As Safari Gold return with their second album, The Years Between Dog and Wolf, Scott Taylor listens to an album which is packed with heartbreak and adventure.
Alt-pop quarter Safari Gold have made their return four years after their debut with The Years Between Dog And Wolf, a collection of atmospheric tracks that come together into a beautiful and full adventure into the realms of electro pop music. Though some tracks feel bloated, the experience is one that you will be coming back to time and time again, finding something new to admire in the project with each and every listen.
The Years Between Dog And Wolf opens with ‘Inner Summer’ to then be followed by ‘Render’, which both successfully lay the aesthetic groundwork for the record, but both do feel slow and a little bloated, an issue the first three songs do unfortunately suffer from. That said, they do showcase what the record is going to be and is aiming to achieve well, and as the record progresses it becomes clear that Safari Gold have a great vision and ability to create impressive and haunting songs that leave a lasting mark on the listener.
In fact, the opening of this album is highly deceiving, for as the album progresses it becomes even more emotive, heartfelt, and imaginative. From ‘Angel (Fuchsia)’ onwards, we see the true success of the musical prowess that Safari Gold clearly harbours. ‘Angel (Fuchsia)’ is a beautiful piece, with serene vocals and harmonies over a simplistic yet effective slow pop ballad backdrop. This album has some of the most enjoyable yet truly heart wrenching pop songs of recent memory, and every time that you sit with ‘The Years Between Dog And Wolf’ you will find the album bonds with you more and more, and the impact it has on you grows and deepens.
The track that defines this record by far however is ‘Instant America’ which gradually builds to this incredible breakdown of sound, going from being harmonious and clean to a cavalcade of harsh noise as it falls apart perfectly. ‘Instant America’ is album defining, and showcases the incredible musical ingenuity of a band that are taking risks and creating emotive pop music which has clearly had so much time and love poured into it, which is rare in the current trend of homogenized sounds that mainstream pop has been heavily reliant on and become known for.
The only track that truly feels out of place on the album is ‘Every Action Is A Sea Of Words’. Most of the other tracks on this project feel so tight and well refined, so a song that feels underdeveloped really sticks out. When compared to the perfect pacing of ‘Instant America’ and the emotional guitar ballad ‘Is This How You Speak’, the difference in quality becomes clear, and The Years Between Dog And Wolf would most likely benefit from it not landing on its otherwise pretty stellar track list.
The Years Between Dog And Wolf is an album where each track improves upon the last, building into something truly special and heartfelt. Whilst it does have its issues, with a slow beginning and some excess fat that could be cut from its running time of nearly 50 minutes, the album never feels like it overstays its welcome. In fact, Safari Gold have managed to create a truly beautiful work, and their ingenuity and smooth musicianship has created something special and unique that deserves your attention.
The Years Between Dog and Wolf is due for release on February 17th, streaming in all the usual places.