Premiere: “I don’t want to be your dog anymore” – No Frills

Today, the Canadian independent rock quartet No frills announce their first LP, down dog, which will be released on April 1, 2022.

The project / record is the result of the pandemic and was started by Daniel Busheikin as a bedroom project which was later brought to life by a group of familiar faces from Toronto’s indie music scene including members of Hooded Fang, Twist, Rapport, and his former group Grounders.

Along with this announcement, we are releasing the band’s first single, “I Don’t Wanna Be Your Dog Anymore”. Daniel Busheikin comments on the song, saying:

Reading anecdotes about Iggy Pop in Please Kill Me (super fun early punk oral history) makes me imagine a wild Iggy, crawling on all fours, shirtless, sweaty, intense, maybe bleeding, etc., and it occurred to me that I ‘I am the complete opposite of that person.

In “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” Iggy recklessly launches into sexual and physical domination. In my opposite universe, it would be “I don’t want to be your dog anymore”, where I pathetically try to sneak through the dog’s door. So I thought it was pretty funny, which it probably isn’t, but beyond reference it’s a playful but heartfelt lament about being obedient and submissive.

When Toronto closed in the spring of 2020, Busheikin descended into his basement and surrounded himself with guitars, vintage synths, and a nest of guitar pedals. Six months later, he came out with fifteen demos and a vague plan.

Since the recording with a full group was no longer on the table, Dog down started out recording only drums and bass on tape in Gavin Gardiner’s (The Wooden Sky) garage-turned-studio. With the digitized stems from these sessions, Busheikin began piecing together the album piecemeal.

Band members Maddy Wilde (keyboards, vocals), Jonathan Pappo (drums), Matt Buckerrough (guitar, bass) and Mike Searle (bass) came sporadically to record various riffs and beats and give their feedback. Instead of a sane engineer or proper recording equipment, Busheikin leaned into bizarre production techniques. To get the right ideal vocal tones, for example, he sang while wearing a KN95 mask into a microphone with a tube of toilet paper taped to it.

The result is a memorable collage of lo-fi pop that filters themes of depression, hopelessness and death through a sardonic sense of humor. Indie rock Jangly and intimate ballads are woven together by warm analog production and a unique whimsical defeatism. “Ice Cream Cone” channels 1950s crooners, while “I Don’t Wanna Be Your Dog Anymore” parades under a 90s college rock rain cloud.

Keyboardist Maddy Wilde takes the lead vocals for the Stereolab-esque “Copy Cat”, a sweet number with gurgling synths. When the record ends with the lo-fi lullaby “Pancake”, Busheikin tenderly offers an openly simple reflection to conclude the journey: “It’s just normal life / it’s nice / and it’s sad / and it’s is the only one you have. ”

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Therapists are very expensive. But writing songs is free.

That’s why Daniel Busheikin started No Frills, a chamber-pop project hosted by a group of familiar faces from Toronto’s indie music scene, including members of Hooded Fang, Twist, Rapport and his former band Grounders.

With songs about life, love, death and depression, the premise is dark. But when imbued with Busheikin’s sardonic humor and ironic self-awareness, the music is playful and inviting, retracing the whimsical despair of someone trying to squeeze a drop of optimism.

No Frills’ upcoming LP Downward Dog (released April 2022) is a ‘pandemic record’. When Toronto closed, Busheikin devoted his newly acquired free time to writing songs and recording them piecemeal. The drums and bass were recorded on tape in Gavin Gardiner’s (The Wooden Sky) converted studio garage, and the rest in Busheikin’s basement where, instead of a suitable engineer or top equipment range, Busheikin was brilliantly creative. To get his ideal vocal tones, for example, he sang through a KN95 mask with a tube of toilet paper around the microphone.

The result is a memorable collection of lo-fi pop, ranging from angular indie rock to intimate ballads, woven together by a warm analog production reminiscent of 50s crooners and early 60s pop.

No Frills has supported acclaimed American independent artists Chris Cohen and Jerry Paper, as well as local favorites like Kiwi Jr., Nyssa and Ice Cream. They presented at Pop Montreal 2019 and were scheduled to perform at (the canceled) Sled Island 2020.

Dog down – TRACK LIST

01. Welcome…!
02. Save the bees
03. Ice cream cone
04. Black horse
05. Drip
06. Copy chat
07 I don’t want to be your dog anymore
08. Mockingbird
09. Common folk
10. New drug
11. Ashore for the account
12. Terry cloth and dirt
13. Everything will be better
14. Pancake

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