Phil Jones may describe himself as more of an artist than a musician, but considering the amount of time he’s spent playing in bands (including a spell as Washed Out‘s live keyboardist) there can’t be much to choose between both disciplines. He might be knocking out masterpieces like a pepped-up Picasso as far as I know, but his solo music, recorded under the name Dog Bite, seems intriguing enough to be more than just a sideline.
The music of Washed Out is actually a useful point of reference, as Jones’ music tends to sound similarly sedated, pleasurably hazy in that way that no one can quite bring themselves to describe as ‘Chillwave’ anymore. Dog Bite is a little bit more rough around the edges though; witness the dissonant, lop-sided guitars on ‘Paper Lungs’, which sounds like early Beck coming through the walls of a goth club, or the fuzzy riff that kicks off recent single ‘Prettiest Pills’.
The music occasionally recalls a fellow Atlanta resident, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, who makes similar underwater hooks under his Atlas Sound alias. Upcoming tourmates Toro y Moi have also been mentioned in the same breath, although Jones is thankfully much less annoying (sorry, I just can’t stand them). So what makes him stand out from this wispy crowd?
The answer is in tracks like ‘You’re Not That Great’. It starts with a moody bassline based on two sneering semitones before some gorgeously blissed out guitars and vocals completely change the perspective, which is altered twice more during brief excursions into psych and grunge. It’s a promising taste of Jones’ undoubtable talent. You wonder what he’ll capable of when he really lets himself off the leash…