Capturing ascension from volatility and transit to balance and arrival, The Dig end their year of music with “Home,” a moving close to the ‘Afternoon with Caroline’ EP.
Our friend Josh told us that no one will know the true vibe of The Dig until we release the song “Home,” so we’ll just roll with that!
2018 has been an exciting, transformative year of music for The Dig — and while it’s sad to see something so special conclude, the band could not have asked for a better ending. “Home,” the moving final song off The Dig’s new EP Afternoon with Caroline, captures one’s inner and outer ascension from volatility and transit, to balance and arrival.
Home, you’re going home
But I’m still standing here
Alone on a country road
I’m still standing here
With the headlights in my eyes
I can almost feel the light
With the headlights in my eyes
I can almost feel your love
Stream: “Home” – The Dig
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Home,” the closing song off Afternoon with Caroline (out Friday, October 19, 2018 via Roll Call Records.) The four-piece of Emile Mosseri (bass/vocals), David Baldwin (guitar/vocals), Erick Eiser (keyboards/guitar), and Mark Demiglio (drums), The Dig formed nearly a decade ago in New York City and have released three albums and three EPs to date. Their music has grown with them over the years, boldly ranging from indie and alternative rock to baroque and psychedelic pop. This openness to sounds and styles has helped keep things fresh throughout The Dig’s tenure, and 2018 has undoubtedly been the band’s most eclectic and electrifying year yet.
The story starts in February 2017, in the aftermath of The Dig’s well-received sophomore album Bloodshot Tokyo. “We had a bunch of songs that we loved, but didn’t seem to sit tightly in the nucleus of the Bloodshot Tokyo vibe,” they explain. “After combing through the remains, we found really special combinations of songs that fit two different moods and decided to split them up into two EPs. Then we recorded additional songs to fully realize those two EPs.”
The Dig began unveiling those songs in January 2018, putting out new tracks one month at a time in a playlist entitled “El Dig: A Year of Music.” The first six songs resulted in May 2018’s impassioned, emotionally-charged Moonlight Baby EP. “The Moonlight Baby songs felt sonically more organic and like they nodded to a lot of artists from other decades that we love. Also there was a spiritual center that those songs shared.” The EP’s closing track is a dark and brooding number entitled, “I’m Coming Home Today,” in which vocalist David Baldy hauntingly chants the lyrics in a melancholic and ominously-sung whisper.
In contrast to Moonlight Baby, Afternoon with Caroline has a poppier psyche, with bright melodies and buoyant textures. “The Afternoon with Caroline songs share a certain spirit; it’s hard to explain, but they felt fun and psychedelic in an ’80s pop kind of way,” The Dig notes. “Afternoon with Caroline represents happiness, or a peaceful state of mind, either in sleep or afterlife. Afternoon with Caroline is the feeling of trying to get back home; it’s the plateau that we’re all striving for, that doesn’t actually exist. The beach in my mind, etc.”
Driving opener “Million Dollar Man” set the lighter tone in June, followed by the psych-swirling “I Don’t Need You Anymore” and the particularly infectious songs “Don’t Stop Running” and “Say Hello to Alison” — the latter of holds a special place in the band’s heart. “The song was inspired by the neighborhood ice cream truck in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where we lived for a while. The truck had a very specific song and beat that would ring out through the neighborhood and kids would dance around the truck. It’s an homage to that feeling.”
When I shut my eyes
I can see your face again
Girl you’re the honey in my veins
My one and only friend
My love, I’m coming home
I’m coming home
The Dig’s steady and consistent stream of new music, much which taps into themes of home and belonging, coincides with a monumental year-long move for the band from their longtime home in New York City, to the sunny West Coast pastures of Los Angeles, California. “It’s been a surprisingly smooth transition. We managed to find apartments and a rehearsal space all in the same neighborhood, so our rehearsal and writing routine has been able to stay the pretty much the same as it was in NY.”
Consciously or unconsciously, ideas about stability, change, and new beginnings were on The Dig’s thoughts before the big move.
“With headlights in my eyes, I can almost feel you,” The Dig sing in “Home,” repeating the refrain, “I know I’m coming home.” With this conclusive song, it feels like the band have come full circle, and have warmly accepted their new reality. “[We] wanted to paint the picture of isolation for the first half of the tune. Placing a character on a country road at night illuminated by headlights,” The Dig shares.
“Home” is a special song, in that it takes on a whole new color halfway through. Beginning with a sense of transcience and movement, the music ultimately reaches its destination. The music’s searching tone evolves into a feelgood, celebratory indulgence of warmth and presence – a sense of comfort in being. “Sometimes you have two existing pieces of music that end up working together in an unexpected way,” The Dig states. “This was one of those marriages that clicked and felt like an appropriate place to take the story and the melodies.”
“It made sense to us for the last song of this year of music to land with the idea of ‘Home,’ as we ended up arriving in our new home in reality. Also, it had the afternoon with Caroline as an arrival point.”
Let me get back
To the place in my mind
To the place in my mind
Under the orange sky
I’m trying to get back
To the beach in my mind
Where I can spend an afternoon with Caroline
Right now we feel a bit in orbit emotionally and physically.
That said, wrapping things up in song doesn’t necessarily translate to turning a new leaf in life – although it certainly does feel like one chapter has closed, and a new one’s just beginning. “Right now we feel a bit in orbit emotionally and physically,” the band says. “We’ve only been out in LA for a few months, so the concept of home is a bit hard to pin down. We each moved here at separate times — the band kind of trickled its way out to LA — and we had a few months of being inactive. So there’s a bit of this recalibration period of reuniting as a band out here. You could be across the country, but if you have rehearsal with the same four blokes it doesn’t feel like we’re very far from home emotionally. This band has been home to us for our whole lives, so it feels a bit like our home just got sunnier and redecorated LA style!”
“Home” is an exceptionally inviting song and a powerful expression of who The Dig are at this juncture, even while they’re trying to figure that out themselves. “Our friend Josh told us that no one will know the true vibe of The Dig until we release the song “Home,” so we’ll just roll with that!” Upbeat and exultant — a sonic blast of joyous revelry in the aftermath of instability and turbulence — “Home” ends El Dig: A Year of Music with excitement and belonging. “It felt like the right ending to the dream: To end up on the beach with Caroline.”
In addition to releasing Afternoon with Caroline, The Dig are also combining their two 2018 EPs into a full-length album, fittingly named El Dig: A Year of Music, which will be available digitally and physically in vinyl. Both the EP and the album will be available October 19.
Stream: “Home” – The Dig
:: purchase El Dig: A Year of Music here ::
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📸 © Shervin Lainez art © Olivia McManus