Boston-based band Impossible Dog just dropped their new single “Figs“, born out of reflections on past relationships and friendships, exploring the unsettling realization that people come and go, yet the memories and impact they leave behind remain a part of us. It delves into moments of discovering that someone wasn’t who they seemed to be, reflecting on the messiness of friendships, and acknowledging personal mistakes and the hope for growth.
The band, consisting of Evan Kelley on guitar, vocals, and lyrics, Evan Doherty on lead guitar, as well as Devin Congdon on drums and Alex Bachman on bass, have shared some insights into the creation of the new track.
“Figs was written after I spent over a week ruminating about past relationships / friendships.” – says guitarist, vocalist and lyricist Evan Kelley.
“The more I thought about them, the more they freaked me out. People fade in and out of your life, but the memories and connections you have with them continue to be a part of you. I began thinking of interactions I had with people that are no longer in my life. There were moments where I realized the person I was speaking with wasn’t who I thought they were. There are moments when I look back at a friendship and think, “wow, we both were an absolute mess. We both could have been better.” Finally, there are moments I know I’ve simply done the wrong thing. I hope I can learn from those mistakes and grow from them.”
“I also reference The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. The fig tree analogy always sticks in my head. Whenever I feel frozen in the face of choices, I always try to remind myself to pick something. Sure, it might not be the best option, but I’d rather keep moving forward than to let possibilities rot away. I will say, that is easier said than done for someone who is incredibly indecisive most of the time.”
Musically, the song incorporates influences from other tracks that left a lasting impact on the band. “I’d say I’ve Got It All (Most) by Modest Mouse was the main influence behind the instrumentals for me at least. I just absolutely adore that song. I love how sparse the verses are. I love the sliding octave leads in the chorus. I love how the outro just keeps building and building with no real resolution. Structure wise, I tried to make Figs as close to that song as I could, without being too obvious.” – comments Evan.
“Favourite Colour by Tokyo Police Club was another big influence. They have been one of my favorite bands for years. I first heard their song Cheer It On in NHL 2K8. They are one of the most underrated indie rock bands of the mid 2000’s in my opinion. Anyway, Favourite Colour definitely influenced the staccato / rhythmic nature of Figs, especially in the first verse. My last band was pretty much as straight forward punk band, so having off-kilter rhythms has been fun to experiment with.”
During the mixing process, the band aimed for a sound reminiscent of Modest Mouse’s “Florida.” They enlisted the expertise of engineer Steve Ailperta from Kennedy Studios, who skillfully captured the open and natural quality of that album while maintaining the band’s unique sound. The collaboration with Steve resulted in a seamless session and a final product that the band is thrilled with.
Evan Doherty, on lead guitar, contributed to the sonic landscape of “Figs” by enhancing Evan Kelley’s chord voicings.
“Evan [Kelley] brought Figs to the table as rough voice memo first shared over the internet.” – says Doherty. “My first listen through I recall being intrigued by the colors of his chord voicings, the consistent tension in the progression, and the ample space and unexpected bar phrasing. I knew I wanted to fill the space between these chords, but did not want to trample over Evan [Kelley’s] vocals or try to steal the spotlight of the strong foundation he created.”
In “Figs,” Evan Doherty introduces octaves that contribute a hazy shimmer to the overall sound. Throughout the verse, he seamlessly intertwines lead lines that gracefully move between their own melodies and the vocal rhythms. With the addition of an octave pedal for the chorus, Evan creates an intensified shimmer effect that enriches the droning picked figures he performs.
“I think I actually came up with the chorus at one of our practices and it resonated with Evan [Kelley] so much that we kept it. Verse 2 divulges into utter chaos, and again I take turns going Guitar Hero stanky and mimicking the vocal leads. Through the end of the build that closes the song, I try to let Evan [Kelley’s] steadily growing screams and energy drive the ferocity of my parts, adding more distortion and eventual tremolo picking that induce even more tension, color, and chaos to the song. I close on a major chord that rings out against the darkness of Evan [Kelley’s] final chord progression, letting any delay oscillations or amp feedback have their final say before we fade out.” – he concludes.
“Figs” by Impossible Dog is available today. It was written and performed by the band members: Devin Congdon, Alex Bachman, Evan Doherty, and Evan Kelley. The track was engineered and mixed by Steve Aliperta at Kennedy Studios.