Alexandra Duguid goes by the name Dogood. Although it’s a play on her last name you can rest assured that Alexandra also does music good too. There are two new songs on Dogood’s Bandcamp that are revealing and tender, full of hurt, longing and confusion. Musically, the first thing you’ll notice about both songs is Alexandra’s shimmering guitar work, which is languid yet lush, sonically sharp but fluid – like crystal clear water that glides coolly around your submerged hand. Little else accompanies the guitars except some simple bass and either a soft drum machine patter or sparse tambourine clink, but the focal point of the entire sound is Alexandra’s voice – and what a voice it is! Both songs, ‘End Up Dead’ and ‘Hate Expectations’ are vessels for Alexandra’s captivating vocals, communicating heartache at its most painful.
I’ve no shame in admitting that ‘End Up Dead’ and ‘Hate Expectations’ fucking got me. They both got to me. I got got, caught off guard and staggered. Anyone who has had their feelings stepped on will find something to relate to in these songs, igniting some feelings that might be fresh or buried (be warned). ‘End Up Dead’ deals with neglect – being neglected but being unable to let go. It’s about waiting for someone to stop being a fuck and invest emotionally, but it’s not happening. Alexandra is talking, singing, expressing about being led on, for being too forgiving of blatantly uncaring behaviour, clinging to the idea that it will all change. It doesn’t normally, it didn’t here apparently – Alexandra, like so many of us (me included) couldn’t be cool about being kept at arms length (“You said care less but caring is what I do best” / “you said be cool but it’s not something I can do”). It’s rough, it’s gripping – simple but unflinchingly real.
‘Hate Expectations’ could very well be about the same person – it’s hard to sum up an intense relationship and it’s emotional baggage in one song. This time it’s less about being neglected but more about the self-doubt and insecurity that follows. Why wasn’t I enough? What part of me was a let down? What makes my replacement better? Alexandra details prodding her own body, wanting to change, wanting to be different, wanting to be enough and it’s fucking heart wrenching and familiar. Although each line hits a nerve and stirs up emotions, the most crucial line to hold on to is this last one: “These feelings will change, in winter and all fucking rain but I know I’ll see summer again.”
These bum me way out, but I love them all the more for the honestly Alexandra gives, even when it details her mindset at her lowest point.