It’s an absolute pleasure to premiere the latest single from Melbourne singer-songwriter Ali Duguid, creating under the moniker Dogood. Like previous singles ‘Hate Expectations’ and ‘End Up Dead’, ‘Napier Street’ showcases Dogood’s stellar vocal range – a voice that communicates downtrodden heartbreak so perfectly that it could be my own inner monologue in times of romantic strife. Again, Dogood talks about the give and take (mostly take) in modern love – the broken promises, the unreturned messages, feelings of inadequacy and the mixed signals making it all a mess.
The song opens with Ali spending “ten fucking dollars on gluten-free flour to make you a birthday cake” before being blown off completely. Why was she blown off? Who knows, Ali doesn’t. Things seemed to be going well.
“Because I’ve been to your house on Napier Street, two or three times before / jumped out of your bed with my heart on my sleeve, navigated my way to the door.”
Despite being told that the target of her affections is notoriously bunk at relationships, Ali chooses to ignore it (been guilty of this myself) and puts herself out there regardless (commendable). There is something about being treated poorly that feeds into a need for acceptance, for someone who doesn’t like anyone to like you and not treat you like another casual thing. This person sticks with you – a habit you can’t kick, an itch that needs scratching. You are seeing them in other people, even their scent creates a pang in your gut (“someone jumps on and they smell just like you and I suddenly feel fucking drunk”), but what’s the cost of hanging in there?
Then you try to let it go:
“I’m trying hard to convince myself that this is all for the best / too hard to judge just where I stand.”
It’s best to let those people fade out of your life, despite you not getting the validation you craved (and probably rightly deserved). Too real? Too bad. This is catharsis – Ali probably could have used a song like this to relate to as she walked down Napier Street.
While it may seem like her songs are all about heartbreak and being messed around, to me it seems like Ali is still a romantic at heart and considers love something worth getting hurt for – as long as there is a payoff in the long run. I’m sure there will be more songs like this in Dogood’s catalogue, but as long as her music continues with the unflinching honesty then there will always be something to invest in.