words: Gordon Phillips
The time has come to stop calling for “It’s Cold Out Here” at shows—Jake Ewald is in love. Group Picture Vol. 7, a compilation released by Making New Enemies on Christmas Day, contained a new Slaughter Beach, Dog song, “I’m in Love.”
Those familiar with Ewald’s latest punctuation-fueled outlet will recognize a number of the project’s now-established instrumental hallmarks—foundational acoustic guitar, toy keyboard organ tones, minimalist percussion and intermittent electric slide guitar passages.
The production on “I’m in Love” lies somewhere between Birdie’s meticulously polished presentation and Motorcycle.jpg’s warm, overdriven stagings. The lead guitar line crackles slightly each time it begins, adding to the song’s flatteringly quaint ambiance.
“I’m in love with a contract killer,” Ewald repeats at the beginning of each verse stanza through his customarily clenched teeth. His vocal delivery straddles the line between tepid and insouciant as the chorus strolls back around: “if it’s all the same to you/I’d rather tell the truth/I know it’s cute to pretend.”
Ewald’s uninhibited access to an ever-evolving recording studio has proven to be an exclusively positive thing for fans of earnest songwriting and “I’m in Love,” gift-wrapped for the holiday season, is no exception.