On October 14, Cincinnati’s Dawg Yawp will release their debut self-titled LP via Old Flame Records. The duo of Rob Keenan and Tyler Randall has been deemed “…one of the most original and intricately considered bands in Cincinnati’s musical history” by their local alt-weekly CityBeat and have been played on NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast.
The album is currently available for pre-order via Bandcamp.
Dawg Yawp were recently included in NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation feature that highlights “10 songs that public radio can’t stop playing.” Liz Felix of WNKU featured Dawg Yawp’s single “Can’t Think” and said, “Like its Ohioan cousins in The Black Keys, Dawg Yawp is a duo that sounds much bigger than two people, thanks to Randall’s sitar and Keenan’s synth samples. ‘Can’t Think’ is quirkier, darker and heavier than their other songs, and it’s a standout track.”
“Can’t Think” premiered via Consequence of Sound, who called Randall a “master sitarist” and said “…he brings the instrument into his songwriting to create sounds that can only be described as completely original.”
Bob Boilen of NPR Music’s All Songs Considered premiered the band’s cover of The Stanley Brother’s “East Virginia Blues.” Boilen stated, “On paper, the idea of a sitar-guitar Appalachian folk duo may seem puzzling, but in the hands of Dawg Yawp, it works.”
Dawg Yawp’s Rob Keenan began piano lessons at age 7 and Tyler Randall picked up guitar at 9. They met in high school when Randall played guitar for a vocal chorus concert where Keenan was singing. After hearing The Beatles “Within You, Without You,” Tyler became obsessed with the sound of the sitar.
“Well I thought it was some sort of electronic instrument at first,” Tyler says. “Then I met my future bandmate Rob Keenan and he told me it was a sitar! So I checked out Ravi Shankar and that changed everything for me.”
Tyler explains that he researched online endlessly until he found the right sitar, house sitting dogs and mowing lawns to help cover the costs. “I had never seen one before in my life, and when it came from India after 6 months of waiting…I nearly cried in front of my mother. I thought I had made a horrible mistake, what was I going to do with this thing? It took me about another 6 months to get it in tune and then I just started going down by the river after high school, playing with the birds until I felt relaxed.”
Dawg Yawp recorded in a “tiny house” studio in Sayler Park, a riverside village near Cincinnati. Rob Fetters (Adrian Belew, The Bears) produced their tracks using analog, digital and vintage gear. Fetters said his goal was simply trying to capture “the magic you can hear when you’re sitting between these two musicians, where the sound blossoms into something you’ve never experienced before.”
10/14: Cincinnati, OH – MOTR **Album Release Show**