Jake Ewald turns Slaughter Beach, Dog from a side project to his main focus


Sarah Dropsey

On the heels of Modern Baseball’s seemingly indefinite hiatus, co-frontman Jake Ewald’s solo project, Slaughter Beach, Dog, has begun to gain traction. The project resides in the fictional world of Slaughter Beach, featuring a rotating cast of imaginary characters, which are used as an outlet for Ewald’s intimate, autobiographical music. Though the project begun in 2014 with the single “Toronto Mug”, which was released on Making New EnemiesGroup Picture, Vol. 4, Ewald’s debut album Welcome was the project that really introduced him and his cast of fictional characters into the scene. The album came out via Lame-O Records, a U.K. label that also houses acts such as The Obsessives, Thin Lips, and Ewald’s tourmate Shannen Moser.

Not often are bands created out of necessity, but Slaughter Beach, Dog was. While trying to write songs for Modern Baseball’s 2016 album, Holy Ghost, Ewald found himself struggling. The idea behind Holy Ghost was to have half the tracklist written by Ewald, while the other half would be written by the band’s frontman, Brendan Lukens. In an effort to try an escape writer’s block, Ewald switched the focus from himself onto a cast of fictional personas that make up the narrative we now know as Welcome.

Although Welcome adheres to a framework of grand rock, Ewald’s most recent release, Birdie, takes a more intimate approach. Birdie shows a maturation that wasn’t necessarily present in the debut album — which more closely relates to the frantic expression of an angry adolescent. On the other hand, Ewald’s sophomore LP emphasizes more of a folk style than what is generally found on a rock or punk album. By using a simple backbeat and chugging guitar riff, Ewald creates an album that ebbs and flows as a coherent whole rather than a compilation of singular tracks.

With an acoustic guitar and meditative lyrics, Slaughter Beach, Dog started as a songwriting outlet that has turned into a full-fledged band chock full of great projects. Ewald’s two full-length albums, as well as his EP Motorcycle.jpg, have created a vibrant and thoughtful world that invites fans and friends alike to stay a while. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay in Slaughter Beach with Ewald forever. 

Be sure to check back with Impact 89FM for an intimate in-studio performance and interview with Jake Ewald from Slaughter Beach, Dog coming soon. In the meantine, grab a pair of headphones and escape to Slaughter Beach with Ewald and the rest of his fictional friends.