If you take your pooch down to the free section of Barton Springs, you’ll recognize that Austin’s a pretty dog friendly town. You could also pick that up from show bills, considering we’re home to groups like A Giant Dog, Dog Beach Rebels, The Ghost Wolves, and the now-defunct Growl. There’s also Dog Island, the pet project of multi-instrumentalist/producer Dave Hanson, who moved here from Florida four years back. That move lined up with the release of Dog Island’s last record New Breed (2019), but the subsequent pandemic and the pain it caused provided Hanson with some new, deeply emotional songwriting fodder.
The result is Only By Love, an eight-track penned in Hanson’s home studio that keeps a leash on Dog Island’s experimentation and synth work but also invites previously-untapped orchestral elements into arrangements. Only By Love dropped this morning, and Dog Island celebrates with a free, all-ages release show 7-9PM tomorrow night at Cloud Tree Gallery. Now, full disclosure, Dog Island won’t actually be playing, but they will be releasing a one-of-a-kind zine alongside performance art, installations, and an ambient electronic set from Jared J. Standish. So go ahead; tear into Only By Love, fall for Dog Island’s idiosyncratic style, and admire the optimistic curiosity captured in the Daniel Johnston cover “True Love Will Find You In The End”.