Dog Park, founded in 2019, is a fresh member on the Gothenburg pop scene.
Bass player Johanna Ekholm and singer Annika Marmén had been writing music together for years, for jazz bands, musicals and vocal groups. They longed for the simplicity and nostalgia of playing in a band, and creating music together with the listener in mind. Annika bought an old Telecaster, Johanna switched from the contra bass to the electric and the first songs were written. Together with drummer Emil Blommé they create modern pop songs with lots of texture, crisp vocals and heavy drums. While easily fitting into the indie pop spectra the sound draws inspiration from a wild array of influences.
“We wanted to make the kind of music we listen to ourselves on the bus, in the kitchen when we cook dinner with our friends, the stuff you show your friends at the afterparty. For us this tends to be a bit of scandinavian pop, a bit of american folk and the occational 90s ballad”
After only a few months they recorded their first singles, “Act as if” and “Million Bucks” at Studio Glasfågeln in Gothenburg. Since the band started out during the corona pandemic they weren’t too hopeful about being able to play live in a while.
“We got an email containing an offer for our band name domain, thought it was spam at first but it was legit! We didn’t think we’d have the funding to record anything else in a while but turns out someone out there in cyberspace has our backs (and wants our band name)!”
Photographer: Henrik Büller
"It’s hard to believe this is their debut album as it sounds like the sort of well-crafted folk songs that take years to craft. It comes across with so much warmth and generosity that taps into something so raw and real that just can’t be faked. There are traces of fellow Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit, but the band taps into a more refined and slightly atmospheric journey that seperates them onto their own distinct path."
”Warm, lilting female vocals are expertly executed by Annika Marmen (guitar) and Johanna Ekholm (bass). Fluid and crisp electric guitar lines welcome a soft, reflective mood. A gentle, simple bassline with deep, warm tones and subdued drumkit (Emil Blomme) evoking faint and appealing hints of jazz, all support and enhance the beauty of the vocal work.
If that description doesn’t make you want to check it out, maybe you’re a Nice Guy who needs some affirmation. Dog Park describes the song as a catchy tribute to all the nice guys out there. It’s written with a sense of humor but it’s also an honest love song that highlights things that at the end of the day make us human and lovable.
Soft, disarming and genuine in both its lyricism and its instrumentation, what draws me in most is the poetic imagery bubbling into the verses. I won’t quote it–I’ll let you check it out for yourself if I’ve managed to pique your interest. The overall effect is definitely worth a Million Bucks.”
"Easy guitar sets the sound for the soft vocals to come in and make you float away. The lyrics tell a love story for the good ones, the people that are often overlooked but have everything to offer. The chorus has the perfect amount of repetition, making it easy to sing along on the first listen. The song ends with gorgeous harmonies that leave you satisfied with a sense of finality."
"The song has dreamy melodies, smooth grooves, stellar vocals, and nostalgic sounds.
Dog Park’s lyrics impressive. They write with authenticity. Million Bucks is a catchy tribute to all the nice guys out there. It’s written with a sense of humor but it’s also an honest love song that highlights things that at the end of the day makes us human and lovable.
Million Bucks deserves to be heard. Fantastic piece of work."
"‘Million Bucks’ retains a folk feel whilst also mixing in indie pop territory. It’s catchy with a sing-along moment at the end. You can easily imagine a crowd singing back the repeated lyric of “You can be a million bucks to me”. Albeit it tenderly, not shouted!
The guitars on the track add a great melodic hook and once again Annika Marmén’s vocal completely draws you in. I described her voice as “infectiously gorgeous” on the review of Dog Park’s debut single ‘Act As If’ and that still stands. It’s exciting to see where the band go next."
They have just returned with their latest single, “Million Bucks,” which more than lives up to its title. While it still showcases their natural knack for crafting a folk-themed song, this one has a more upbeat playful pop sensibility to it that they weave into their sound with a great deal of confidence and charisma.
Surely a voice like Annika Marmén’s can’t go unnoticed, not in a world that loves Kate Bush but would rather like her to be a bit more active on the album front. So while we finger-tap Dog Park (Johanna Ekholm/Annika Marmén/Emil Blommé) can take up the slack and ‘Act As If’ appears like the perfect gateway to get us onto their vocal driven romanticism. It’s as if the Gothenburg trio aren’t really bothered whether we like their debut release or not but with these entwined harmonies and subtle arrangements filling in the background there really was no viable option but to release our internal hounds of love.
"‘Act As If’ is beautifully dreamy. You will float along with the song from the first note. Marmén’s vocal is infectiously gorgeous. A voice to instantly fall in love with. The relaxed drum beat helps to set the tone and the guitars sound splendid."