Canadian indie rock outfit No Frills shares ‘Copy Cat,’ the latest single off their forthcoming album, Downward Dog, due April 1, 2022. Alongside the announcement, they have shared an accompanying music video.
Therapists are very expensive. Writing songs, however, is free.
That’s how Daniel Busheikin, a Toronto-based musician, found his hard drive filled with bedroom recordings of bummed-out pop songs about depression, social anxiety, uncertainty, and other fun neuroses he’d been keeping private. Though he enjoyed performing as a member of the band Grounders, songwriting offered Busheikin a way to process his thoughts and feelings and to confront and examine himself.
On No Frills’ debut record, songwriter Daniel Busheikin calls himself names. He’s a bummer, a drip, a dog. It’s the latter that was embraced for the album’s title, Downward Dog – a description of Busheikin’s general malaise, and a nod to the yoga position he attempts every morning as part of a positive mental health routine.
When Toronto shut down in the spring of 2020, Busheikin descended into his basement and encircled himself with guitars, vintage synths and a nest of guitar pedals. Six months later, he emerged with fifteen demos and a vague plan.
Given that recording with a full band was no longer on the table, Downward Dog began by tracking only drums and bass to tape in Gavin Gardiner’s (The Wooden Sky) garage-turned-studio. With the digitized stems from those sessions, Busheikin started assembling the album in piecemeal. Bandmates Maddy Wilde (keys, vocals), Jonathan Pappo (drums), Matt Buckerrough (guitar, bass) and Mike Searle (bass) would sporadically drop in to record various riffs and rhythms and provide feedback. In lieu of a sensible engineer or proper recording equipment, Busheikin found himself leaning into bizarre production techniques. To get the ideal right vocal tones, for example, he sang wearing a KN95 mask into a microphone with a toilet paper tube taped to it.
The result is a memorable collage of lo-fi pop that filters themes of depression, despair and death through a sardonic sense of humour. Jangly indie rock and intimate ballads are woven together by warm analogue production and uniquely whimsical defeatism.