some kind words/press

from “Teeth Marks” (2016) reviews:

“… one of 2016’s most honest records. It’s an album to delve into and in which to find beauty.” (Drowned in Sound, 8/10)

“… an eloquent snapshot of dystopia.” (Exclaim! 8/10)

“… With menacing piano and hushed lyrics, the cacophonous cabaret of lead single ‘Lover’s Palm’ unfolds like a John Carpenter score to a David Lynch film.” (Bucket Full of Nails)

“… the sort of record that enfolds me, transports me, and calms me. It has depths to be plumbed, sonically and lyrically. It rewards those who take time with it, as opposed to trying to digest it on the fly. It is a grower, and it requires you to wait. But it rewards those who delve into the record with a singular, intriguing, mesmerizing experience.” (Independent Clauses)

“While the new long-player doesn’t stray wildly from the course plotted by two fine, noir-tinged and tension-filled predecessors, it feels brighter, louder, more potent and in places even inviting.” (Clicky Clicky)

some more kind words about previous albums::

“… ‘Dog Bite’ is a largely instrumental track that devolves into static percussion, while ‘Smoking in the Living Room’ glistens with brightly interlocking guitar lines. ‘Do you wanna start a family? You can almost smell the fire. Do you wanna see the flames?’ he asks on the slow-burn bucolic folk of ‘Baltimore,’ sounding both ominous and amorous at once, a pretty close approximation of the record’s overall unsettling affect.”
-Boston Globe

“Beautiful and barely there, the recently issued full-length debut from New Dog is spectral and mesmerizing… The imaginatively rendered music regularly deviates from traditional pop structure, and instead uses Badalov’s light, almost avian guitar work — at times minimal and others kaleidoscopic — as an anchor around which snatches of traditional melodies, minimalist repetition and folk structures confidently assert themselves.”
-Clicky Clicky

“Anar Badalov and Flora Wolpert-Checknoff might be barely out of their teens, but they already sound like they’ve passed into the netherworld. …the distant souls equip themselves with keyboards, guitar, saxophone and various programming elements to make their brand of indie rock–but in the end they sound like ghosts tapping on a wall, trying to reach out to the land of the living.”
-Harp Magazine

“Metal Hearts relies on the gentle wisps of classic folk guitar, a synthesizer and rickety drum machine beats dropped inconspicuously over the duo’s mish-mashed vocal melodies, to create a beautiful collection of dreary-day tunes well ahead of its time.”

“Gentleman’s Spell” features a violin that sounds like a film-noir saxophone, and when it combines with the song’s murky breakbeat, it’s as if the the ghost of Jay Dee come to haunt the world of mopey indie-folk.”

“Travels is a safe house in a world of confusion, and despite the scant furnishings, it has plenty of ornamental trappings to keep things more than interesting and entertaining. Intimate and intense, with daring dialogue and characters, Travels is an unpolished but compassionate gem of a pop album, and something we all dearly need more of in our lives.”
-Tiny Mix Tapes (4/5 stars)

“Golden Sun” finds the pair riding an eerie, stammering beat and fighting a murky haze of noise to transmit positivity between blurred waves. A slow whoosh of crackling distortion fizzes over circular harmonies as the duo’s iridescent voices twirl upward into a gleaming helix…Warm, firm and reassuring, the song has all the qualities of a good hug”

“If Travels’ ability to stitch together overlooked odds and ends from the underground like some sort of musical Doctor Frankenstein wasn’t reason enough to give the band a chance, its knack for arrangements full of twists and turns should do it.”

“Their self-titled debut effort is beautifully paradoxical: full-hearted yet half-hearted, a cautious joyride where songs teeter between folk-lullaby and melancholy alt-rock, vaguely reminiscent of a lower-fi Pinback.”
-Performer Magazine

“It is amazingly put-together in composition, sounding like something that other bands might have worked for years to achieve, yet it also maintains the alluring roughness of music that has never passed through the filters of overproduction. …an uncomplicated combination of sound that magically meshes into one of the most captivating albums you’ll hear this year.”
-Playback Magazine

“…a rather startling 18-song open vein of intimately taut, emotionally wrought electric guitar duos and twinned vocals that deflect off one another and swirl into ghostly harmonies. Escapists is a self-contained world of anxiety in the moment, each song a mini-manifesto to flight…Escapists meanders through such beautifully forlorn terrain with a stately grace, recalling the hushed prettiness of early Yo La Tengo and the haunted razor blades of Charalambides’ Market Square. And the pair knows that such a sound isn’t exactly what’s hot right now.”
-Baltimore City Paper