Electronic-art group Alphanaut’s new album Little Sun is a concept album with a slight twist: it tells the story of frontman Mark Alan’s dog Dingo who passed away in 2009. It’s a mostly moody affair – a slow burner of an album, that reveals more with each listen. The music is layered with strings, keyboards, jazzy detours, and occasional electronic beeps.
It could come off as a vanity project, but Little Sun is compelling: using Dingo as a frame throughout the album, Alphanaut taps into very human questions about life and death. In an interesting twist, many of the songs are sung from Dingo’s perspective. Alan presents Dingo as a loyal companion who is eager to please his human counterpart by fetching his keys. It’s clear that the two always seem to enjoy each other’s company.
The album’s emotional pull really sets in the the second half. As Dingo’s Canine Lymphoma sets in, Alan pleads to God: “I’ll trade you his life, for all of my sins.” On “Back to the Stars”, Dingo looks back on his life and remembers the good and the bad, concluding that “there was nothing better than the times such as ours.”
Luckily, listeners don’t need to know the back story of the album to get something out of it. It may tell the story of man’s best friend, but the truths and questions it presents are very human.