These Ontario punks just dropped their first ever EP- stream it below!
Hailing from Brampton/London, punk-ish duo Strawberry Cough released their debut EP The Little Dog Laughed on March 26, 2021. The bandmates are high-school buddies, with Zachary Bourdages on vocals and guitar, and Travis Myers on drums. They also split the band responsibilities- Bourdages writes, while Myers films, and the boys take their photos themselves.
"I would say as of right now our sound is pretty raw, it's just guitar and drums, so there's a lot of feedback," said Bourdages. "We love playing loud, and we're having a lot of fun trying to figure out how to write the best possible songs we can."
Punk and indie-rock are at the core of the band's inspirations, but hip hop and R&B also make their appearances.
"Trav and I both LOVE anything that makes us really feel something," said Bourdages. "Alexisonfire, The Dirty Nil, and PUP all had a huge impact on me. Especially in a live setting too! For lyrics, Drew Thomson from Single Mothers is probably my all time favourite, but I also have to mention Frank Ocean and SZA or else I will regret it forever."
Classic rock chimes in when it comes to Myers' influences.
"Trav's favourite album is De-Loused in the Comatorium by The Mars Volta," said Bourdages. "He is just so unreal at the drums! He loves trying to figure out really abstract musical patterns. He also told me that watching anyone freely express themselves on their instrument really inspires him most- and I think that's beautiful."
"I want to quickly shout out Joncro who just dropped a mind-blowing-ly good new song called, "Sakura"," said Bourdages. "Like so good, I'm sad I didn't write it. Also, The Effens are so sick!"
Strawberry Cough took a year to put together the EP, starting at the beginning of March 2020.
"A lot of trials and errors in 2020 led us to finally recording the songs at the end of November, 2020," said Bourdages. "We banged them out at The Sugar Shack in London over two days. We just got the masters back at the beginning of this month. Shout out to Kyle for making sure we got these songs mastered too!"
Recording and producing The Little Dog Laughed was a piece of cake.
"So many talented people helped us make this EP," said Bourdages. "Kyle Ashbourne recorded and engineered it for us at The Sugar Shack! He's the nicest guy ever. Wade MacNeil produced the whole EP and played extra guitar and bass on it as well. He's the best and is just so insanely talented. Absolute studio wizard too! It was then mixed by Jonah Falco who did an unreal job, really changed the sound of the songs in an amazing way. Stuart McKillop mastered it and it really brought the whole thing together. It was the cherry on top."
Bourdages says Strawberry Cough's music comes from the heart.
"The first thing I write are the lyrics," said Bourdages. "I actually spent years writing poetry before writing music, so I would say everything I write at the moment has a lot of personal meaning. Everything we do as a band is strongly based on feeling."
The title track is about looking on the bright side after a rejection.
""The Little Dog Laughed", or my favourite, is really fast and fun!" said Bourdages. "Wade played a killer solo on it! I love the outro too, I find it super uplifting. The song is about shooting your shot with someone and them turning you down- but dogs laughing make it okay."
The second track, "Lost in Thot", was inspired by JPEGMAFIA- expressed quite clearly by the name.
"I think this has a really grungy riff, but then gets kind of dance-y," said Bourdages. "It makes me move! Trav's "one-two-three-four" count before the change-up is my favourite moment of the song. Gets me amped! The song is really a self-reflection, realizing my own faults and trying to be a better person. I was also listening to a lot of JPEGMAFIA when I wrote this, he's one of my favourite artists!"
"Shit Mood" is pretty apparent. Bourdages says the third single is about trying to get over someone, but feeling like a stick in the mud.
"I always felt like this one was pretty jangly!" said Bourdages. "Makes me feel like a real cowboy, yeehaw! Trav goes really wild on the drums on this song and it blows my mind. We love playing the outro live!"
The final track is an homage to the bandmates' star signs, and Travis's favourite.
""Scorpio/Aries" is one of the first songs we ever wrote," said Bourdages. "It's kind of punk-y, kind of pop-y, I think it's a good example of what Strawberry Cough sounds like right now. This song is about moving on and realizing that not all good things last forever. Shout out to Danny, Patrick, and Nathan for doing the gang vocals! I think they really make the song."
Strawberry Cough hopes The Little Dog Laughed provides comfort to those in need of it.
"I'll be so happy if it makes them feel something- I've always sought comfort through music, so if we could do the same for someone else, even if it's just one person, we'll be content," said Bourdages. "We also hope TLDL will make them want to come to a show when it's possible again! We just keep rehearsing every week waiting, all we want to do is play shows and make them as fun as possible."
You can help support the band by following their socials, streaming their music, and purchasing their EP at the Bandcamp link below.
"We're such a small band, seriously every stream, follow, and share on social media helps us out so much," said Bourdages. "If you like the EP, please tell a friend to check it out. We also have a Bandcamp- don't feel pressured to buy anything! If you really want to though, every dollar goes towards us trying to record more music."
(Postponed due to COVID-19.)