The Dodos – guitarist Meric Long and percussionist Logan Kroeber – will release their seventh studio album Certainty Waves on October 12th via Polyvinyl Record Co., and today they share the record’s second single. Achieving a frantic vitality, “SW3” intertwines acoustic guitar and clicking drumsticks into a beautifully syncopated rhythm that sounds like quintessential Dodos. Working with a group of Shaolin teenagers, “SW3” video director Ryan Daniel Browne initially had a vision of student Queena Tran practicing her form in the park and in front of her instructor. However two days prior to filming, Queena and her friends decided to choreograph an entire fight scene instead, and the music video quickly transformed.
Following the release of Individ in 2015, The Dodos decided to take a breather. Kroeber went back to work, while Long stepped away from music after the death of his father and birth of his first child. For Long, this break did not last, and he returned in 2018 with his synth-based debut solo project FAN, inspired by synths his father had left him. Simultaneously, he continued writing songs for The Dodos, but had hit a wall. “I was a little bit lost in terms of which direction the record should go. We had a handful of recordings, nuggets, and song potentials, but they weren’t songs yet, and months had passed without any real progress. I was kind of debating whether to drop the kitchen sink, simplify things, or just leave them be.”
To celebrate one decade of Visiter, The Dodos began to prepare for a hometown show in San Francisco where they’d perform the album in its entirety. While getting reacquainted with the album and listening to it for the first time in eight years, Long had an epiphany. “It completely surprised me how much electric guitar is on that record,” reveals Long. “The narrative had always been we were just acoustic guitar and drums.” This ostensibly simple observation was pivotal in unlocking a new approach to the material that would become Certainty Waves.