You Need to Watch All of These Dogs in Music Videos Right Now
If you’re obsessed with Corook’s Tik-Tok favorite “The Dog,” you’ll be happy to discover the rest of the “Pup Pop” genre.
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It’s hard to figure out exactly when “Pup Pop” became a bona-fide musical genre. But “Old Shep,” a crooning country track from 1935, is a pretty compelling place to start.
The track, written by Red Foley and Arthur Willis, tells the story of a terminally ill German Shepherd who has to be put down. “He came to my side and looked up at me / And laid his old head on my knee,” Foley sings. “I cried so I scarcely could see.” That track proved so gutting, it would go on to be recorded by everyone from outlaws Hank Williams and Johnny Cash to the squeaky-clean Everly Brothers and Pat Boon. It was even referenced in Led Zeppelin’s 1970 song “Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp.”
The love of dogs, you see, unites us all. (But you knew that.) In the past several decades, countless artists have paid homage to their canine best friends. And if a crop of recent tracks are any indication, that thematic genre is still as prolific as ever. Here are some videos you need to watch right now.
Lewis Capaldi: Wish You The Best
Who wants a good cry? Because Scottish pop-balladeer Lewis Capaldi’s latest video has gone viral for this exact reason. “Wish You the Best” is a legit tear-jerker that chronicles a loyal dog mourning their late owner. The visuals of this pup’s anguish, soundtracked by the lyric, “I wanna say I wish that you never left,” seems optimized to melt even the coldest of hearts. Capaldi wrote on TikTok: “Show this video to someone if you want to make them cry.”
Buzzy Lee: Cinderblock
Sasha Spielberg (aka Buzzy Lee) shared her watercolor-pet talents with The Wildest in April, but we’re currently obsessed with figuring out which of the many pups in her video is our favorite (all of them, obviously). Her earworm of a track “Cinderblock” is basically a Kate Bush-esque synth-pop fever dream about trappings of perfection. The clip is positively mesmerizing for its depictions of flawless, well-behaved dogs whose restraint defies logic. Hey, Sasha, can we get your on-set trainer’s number?
Corook: The Dog
Singer-songwriter Corook (or Corinne Savage, to her mama) is an up-and-comer to be reckoned with, thanks to her TikTok hits “It’s OK” and “If I Were a Fish,” featuring Olivia Barton. But the track that really drives it all home for us is “The Dog,” a lilting contemplation (accompanied by a sweet video starring her cute-and-cuddly bestie) about the age-old break-up question: “Who gets to keep the dog?” Finally, we feel seen.
Mudhoney: Little Dogs
The fuzz rockers earned infamy for their explosive ’90s track “Touch Me I’m Sick.” In the Seattle grunge documentary Hype!, frontman Mark Arm recalls how a Sub Pop exec told him, “Hey, you sing about dogs. You sing about being sick. You got a shtick; it’ll take you to the top.” Suffice it to say, the band is healthier these days, though still making tracks about their love of pets. The video for “Little Dogs” pays homage to all the pups chilling in the dog park. Arm attests, in a delightfully dirty, Iggy Pop drawl, “I like little dogs.”
Jonah Yano: Portrait of a Dog
Do pet parents really resemble their pets? That’s the idea driving the latest from Jonah Yano. The Japanese-born, Montreal-based singer’s latest track “Portrait of a Dog,” is a folky, jazzy meditation accompanied by an artful film short that captures a split-screen of Yano and a Dalmatian mimicking each others’ movements. It’s actually a statement about “the divide between musicians-as-artists and musicians-as-commodity” (according to the artist), but the curious pup brings it all back down to earth. As dogs do.
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Nisha Gopalan has been a writer/editor for The New York Times, New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and NYLON magazines. She currently resides in Los Angeles.