Lockdown cabin fever

By Alfredo Violante Widmer

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The video for the acoustic version of Chaos Reigns was made remotely with each band member shooting their segment in isolation. The result is an aptly random montage of housebound musicians on the verge of losing it. What happened?

What happened? Dog of Man’s debut album came out last summer following a tour around Europe. While they were away, the band increasingly found themselves resorting to acoustic instruments for encores, street busking and rehearsals in the wilderness.

Back in Brighton, Dog of Man made a live recording with this line-up – accordion, bass, guitar and banjo – which was done and dusted in a couple of takes and promptly forgotten about.

A year later, plans to record the second album were abandoned, and another tour was cancelled as the band found themselves in lockdown amid a global pandemic. Suddenly those shows in Europe seemed like a world away, until someone remembered these recordings.

Take The Edge Off was never really meant to be released. Still, the incredible work of producer Joe Bailey convinced the band it was worth putting out.

Singer and accordionist, Mike Milner, explains the idea behind the song: “Lyrically, Chaos Reigns was written at a time when I was particularly butthurt, and to come to terms with that I decided in a rather nihilistic way that all events transpire without any real motive or direction. It was at once damning and liberating. This was summed up best by the fox in Lars von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’, so I borrowed the title from that.”

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Cover photo by Alena Schernstein Vítová