- Genre: 'Alt/Country'
- Release Date: '26th February 2021'
My sympathy for, and liking of, dogs has plummeted to a new low in recent months. Since the UK sent into first-stage lockdown just short of a year ago, it seems half the nation decided that what they needed to alleviate their despondency and give them some company, some focus, or sense of purpose was not a new hobby, but a dog.
Now, I get that pets can be therapeutic and provide a certain companionship (although our family cat seems determined to push me to closer to a breakdown on a daily basis), but how this actually manifests is every single path and pavement is absolutely hocca with people walking dogs that are either straining at leads, off leads, or otherwise just leaving mountains of shit everywhere, including in bags swinging off tree branches.
I can’t really blame the dogs of course, and there’s a genuinely touching back story to this single, which marks the one year anniversary of the passing of Kris’ mom: as such, the song deals with ‘processing loss, depth of grief and moving through the experience to realise that others may need comforting as well.’
As the liner notes detail, ‘Walking became a key healing element during the early months for Kris (aka My Girl The River) and she named the presence of grief and sadness the ‘Sad Dog’’ – which may or may not be an allusion to Churchill’s ‘black dog ‘of depression.
The song itself has its foundations across the span of Americana / roots / folk / country, but ultimately it’s a simple, direct acoustic-led song where Kris Wilkinson’s easy-on-the-ear vocals paint a picture of lying on the floor like a sad dog and howling, and they’re augmented by layers of harmony that really make the song. She also sings of the merits of the freedom walking gives, and if you’ve ever just walked out of the house with no real direction and no restriction on your time, you’ll know just how liberating and enriching this is – making ‘Sad Dog’ a nice tune with relatable content.