Ah!!! All these emotions! Human emotions are a funny thing; they’re here, they’re there, and they’re everywhere all at the same time. To harness them can require a special skill or control, an ability to get a hold of oneself and to some degree detach yourself from these emotional proceedings.
With their latest single “Mari,” indie electronic group Dogwood Last tries to put some perspective on how we deal with and manage ourselves in times when our emotions are consuming us. It explores the complicated and conflicting feelings we have at a relationship’s end, that are often both good and bad at the same time. We may feel frustration and joy, yearning and rejection, all at the same time, unsure of what emotional side to take. Along for the emotional rollercoaster that is “Mari” is Spec Kay, a rising star in the New Jersey/New York hip-hop scene.
Explaining to us what the song means to him, Kory Burrell, the driving force behind Dogwood Last said, “For me, ‘Mari’ is about navigating the secrets/truths about ourselves we keep from ourselves and each other. That dichotomy also exists in that I think, lyrically, it could be interpreted as if it were one person speaking to another or a relationship, but also as if it were a person speaking to themselves. The song was born out of a past (brief) relationship of mine with a partner that was a bit older than myself. Age and time became somewhat of a filter/barrier for all our communication, and ultimately became the key factor to the failure of the relationship.
“I think the song weaves through some of the personal emotions I had surrounding the circumstances of the relationship, (both) good and bad. And again, I like how those duplicities reflect in the relationships we have with ourselves as well. Additionally, time continues to be a theme throughout the Dogwood Last project and specifically our last record Time Follows. This song touches on themes of time as well, but from the perspective of dismissing time; casting it away. I like that in the way that it kind of speaks to the previous songs and themes, while still being kind of a continuation of this through line theme of time.”
Initially a solo venture, Burrell created Dogwood Last in 2015. A lot of studio experimentation then followed, which resulted in the debut release Time Follows in 2018. After that record came out, Burrell expanded the project into a full-fledged band, which included Jesse Morvan, Skyler Hagner, and Matt Jernigan. Alternative in nature, the band gathers a lot of inspiration from other alternative acts, like Bon Iver, The Japanese House, and Hiss Golden Messenger. Unabashedly honest, Dogwood Last is indie in its purest and most pristine form.