Nova Scotia's Dog Day doesn't have the rough edges of the bands it evolved from--the robust expression of indie-pop quartet Burdocks or the hardcore bluster of the Hold. But over two albums and one EP it's corralled a comfortable sound of its own, with spare guitars that rattle and jangle over an airy keyboard cloud, kind of like what British post-punk might have sounded like if it originated from small towns on Canada's East Coast.
In contrast to the country's well-known crop of multi-instrumental collectives like Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, Dog Day's austerity stands in sharp relief. On "Rome," from its second full-length Concentration, the pillow-soft vocals of Nancy Urich and Seth Smith hover on the brink of twee as they sing of figurative flames like those that raced through Nero's ancient capital. But there's a gray sadness lurking underneath that keeps this song, and its neighbors on Concentration, from losing its footing.
Editor's note: song begins at 1:14.
On iTunes: Dog Day