Office Dog have signed to New West Records and will release their debut album Spiel on January 26, 2024. Hailing from Auckland by way of Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand, the trio is led by the critically acclaimed songwriter Kane Strang. The 12-song set was produced by De Stevens (Marlin’s Dreaming) at Roundhead Studios and was recorded over the course of two days, tracking into the early hours of the morning. Office Dog fearlessly explore the depths of complex emotions through layers of tension and release while Spiel serves an introspective view on profound experiences, turmoil, and hopeful prospect.
Amidst a busy solo career with releases via the legendary Flying Nun Records, Dead Oceans, and Ba Da Bing!, Kane Strang formed Office Dog at the end of 2021. After moving from his hometown of Dunedin (home to The Chills, The Clean, The Verlaines, etc) to Auckland, Kane sought after a more collaborative approach. He reached out to drummer Mitchell Innes, who played in his live band during his 2021 tour. Innes had just moved to Auckland as well, and the pair had their first practice at the back of a barbershop. Rassani Tolovaa, who played bass in Kane’s band from 2015-2018 was still residing in Dunedin, but with some gentle convincing, joined the others up north. Moving between Mitchell’s shed, Rassani & Kane’s residence, and the basement of a nearby church, the trio began writing together. Over the next year, fragments began assembling into songs, ultimately culminating in the creation of their debut album, Spiel.
Prior to the band’s current composition, Kane found himself constantly shifting between Dunedin and Auckland due to a series of significant personal events. These emotional upheavals pivoted the original direction of Office Dog, transforming it from a lighthearted endeavor into something deeper. For Kane, Office Dog became somewhat of “a ladder out of a pretty rough spot.” The long car journeys between cities became a blank page for the songs’ lyrical content, which journal the interplay between light and darkness and reflect his emotional passage.
Flying Nun Records released Spiel in Aotearoa/New Zealand & Australia in September 2023 while New West Records will release the record in the rest of the world on January 26 2024.