She may not have the media profile of a Jarvis Cocker or Alex Turner, but in her own quiet, understated way, Nat Johnson has been a steady part of Sheffield’s music culture over the last decade. Firstly as part of indie-folksters Monkey Swallows The Universe, and then recording two albums with her own band The Figureheads. She’s even found time to record some songs with former Standard Fare singer Emma Kupa and Norwich singer/songwriter Rory McVicar under the name Without Feathers.
Dog sees Johnson on her own, flying solo. Which is appropriate, as it’s a lovely, contemplative ballad about the joys of walking on your own, with just a faithful companion on a lead for company. There’s a gorgeously wistful air to it, with a slight bittersweet quality for, as it turns out, Johnson doesn’t actually own a dog. Yet that only adds to the song’s poignant, reflective qualities as Johnson’s warm, rich voice describes how the simple task of going for a walk with a dog can reduce worries about money, work and life’s stresses.
It’s the first taste of Johnson’s forthcoming album Neighbour Of The Year and comes complete with a rather cute animated video which is sure to appeal to all. Well, maybe apart from cat lovers.