Two Dogs, A Television is the second full-length release from Lansing, Michigan-based Fields of Industry, who, at the time, were seeped in explorations of ambient rock and delicate psychedelia. The band employed shimmering guitars and pared-down percussion, creating a simple but powerful approach that framed songwriter Joshua Barton’s lyrics of childhood, mortality, and hope in a transcendent shroud.
Two Dogs, A Television strives for a complete contentedness, as in “I’ve Seen A Light,” a steady-driving ode to down-to-earth living. Serene and meditative songs like “Point of Contention” and “We’ll Always Have the Oasis” ring bittersweet, with soaring reverberated chords belying the melancholy of the message. Dark, rolling drones in “No Relief” and “Fiction Writer” form the backdrop for deeply emotive vocal and instrumental interplay; Barton’s striking voice and understated delivery contrast with the dense but simplistic instrumentation, eliciting comparisons to the Velvet Underground, Low and Spacemen 3.
Fields of Industry began in Joshua Barton’s bedroom in 1999 as a 4-track recording project, in which he sang and played bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards. Influences ranging from bluegrass to shoegaze and ambient music made themselves felt on the eponymous first release, which came out in 2003 and was limited to 100 copies. The live ensemble consisted of whomever Joshua could rally together until Eric Gallippo (Man at Arms) came on as a collaborator. Dogs EP, the first release with Gallippo, was released in summer of 2005 (limited edition of 50). In 2006, Graham Mason (drums), Joel Schrauben (bass), and Tristan Dreisbach (guitar) became steady participants in the band. Two Dogs, A Television is a product of that line-up – the first full-band studio effort – and was tracked almost entirely live, so what you hear is the band’s actual interplay.
released May 20, 2008
The album was recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, by Carl Collins in August 2006 and was mixed and mastered at home by Joshua Barton.