Vancouver-based Black Dog String Quartet introduces their new single/music video, “Two,” a track lifted from their forthcoming album, A Thousand Times Brighter, slated to drop on April 28.
Talking about the album, Black Dog String Quartet shares, “These songs present the quartet in a unique role: the quartet as a band, forming the energetic core of the music, with support on some tracks from upright bass, drums, and brass instruments. The composition reflects our collective interests in contemporary composition, fiddle, folk, and pop music. Recognizable pop forms are mixed with extended instrumental sections, unexpected textures, and extended string techniques. There are stylistic elements borrowed from fiddle music, contemporary classical, Romantic-period art song (especially German Lieder), contemporary folk, and Balinese gamelan.”
They go on to add, “The album’s primary thematic material is ecology and the natural world. The songs explore specific Western Canadian environments such as the interior plateau, the coastal rainforest, and the prairies, as well as our human Relationship with these places. Woven through this imagery is a narrative of deeply personal reflections on mental health, intimacy, and dreams.”
Formed in 2007, Black Dog String Quartet is made up of Elyse Jacobson (violin), Molly MacKinnon (violin), John Kastelic (viola), and Doug Gorkoff (cello). The group has appeared on the recordings of artists such as 54-40, Marianas Trench, and Bleeding Through.
Individual members have performed live on stage with some of the world’s top acts, including Rod Stewart, Kanye West, Sting, Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Video Games Live.
They’ve been a featured ensemble at the Quartetti Festival of String Quartets, Sonic Boom Festival of New Music, and Classical Revolution Vancouver, and all four members play regularly with multiple symphony orchestras.
“Two” opens on evocative, humming layers of strings riding a mid-tempo rhythm, imbuing the tune with classical and art-pop flavors, highlighted by the high whirr of the violins. Kastelic’s vocals enter, initially giving the lyrics a stilted-lite flow, followed by shifting to an energetic, melodic flow.
Wonderfully wrought, “Two” demonstrates the delicious, harmonious juxtaposition of classical instruments with modern pop.