Hailing from Seattle, The Dip is an electrifying seven-piece ensemble that melds vintage rhythm and blues and modern pop with “impeccably crafted, 60’s-steeped soul” (KEXP). The group quickly gained notoriety throughout the Pacific Northwest for their eminently danceable live shows that feature the powerful vocals of frontman Tom Eddy (Beat Connection), bolstered by the deep pocket of their unmistakably detailed rhythm section, and the spirited melodies of “The Honeynut Horns”. Hard-hitting but sensitive, The Dip harkens back to the deep soul roots of the decades past and pays tribute to this history through the grit and grace of their performances. The band’s 2015 self-titled debut, recorded to tape at Avast! Studios, propelled them to notable appearances at prodigious festivals such as Sasquatch! Music Festival, High Sierra Music Fest, Summer Meltdown, and Capitol Hill Block Party as well as built anticipation for their 2016 release, Won’t Be Coming Back (EP). With a second album due in the very near future, The Dip may very well be the Pacific Northwest’s answer to the Daptone sound.
Glide is very proud to premiere “Slow Sipper” from The Dip, a 60’s sounding soul charging number that rekindles the spirit of Charles Bradley along with the musical chops of Booker T & The M.G.’s. The Dip is necessary musical ingredient in today’s live music scene where homage to the song and its soul take preference over party-minded jams.
Glide also recently had the chance to speak with The Dip about their sound and mission…
There seems to be a Daptone throwback soul sound going on that’s legit. What era of soul music are you most fond of and what artists from the past and current have played a significant part of your sound?
We definitely dig Daptone. The amazing part about that record label is that they keep pushing the soul genre to new territories with very hip songwriting and arranging. They push beyond just replicating past sounds and we find that very inspiring. Other labels of the past that we always find ourselves going back to are the Atlantic Records rhythm and blues albums of the 1950s, Hi Records, and Stax Records.
When starting The Dip – what was the original mission to create with your sound?
We wanted to prioritize songwriting and arranging as much as possible. We were interested in trying to create concise stories that the listener could enjoy without having too much “jamming” involved. On the recording side of things, we tried some interesting techniques to approach the sounds of past rhythm and blues records we love. The craziest thing we probably did was parboil a yam, slice it in half, and stick it on the snare drum to achieve that dry and snappy sound that you mind commonly hear on a late 60s James Brown record.
Who is currently in the band (members) and who does the song-writing? What is the songwriting process for The Dip?
The band consists of Tom Eddy (vocals/guitar), Jacob Lundgren (guitar), Mark Hunter (bass), Jarred Katz (drums), Evan Smith (baritone saxophone), Levi Gillis (tenor saxophone), and Brennan Carter (trumpet). Our songwriting process usually involves different members bringing in demos and then we flesh them out as a full band.
It seems the city of Seattle has been supportive in spreading your sound, particularly KEXP. What venues and bands have attributed to giving you a stage to play and what are some of your favorite venues?
The Tractor Tavern and Neumos have been very supportive of the group since day one. Not only do those rooms sound great, but fans love coming out to those spots. Seattle has a super tight-knit community of musicians and we are honored to have shared the stage with a number of them. Groups such as The Polyrhythmics, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, and The True Loves all represent Seattle’s burgeoning soul/funk scene and they are great groups to collaborate and play with!
Seattle is renowned for its history of rock bands but also has a fruitful jazz scene- what are some of the instrumental jazz sounds you’ve all taken to past or present?
We’ve always had strong ties to jazz music as many of us in the band studied jazz performance at the University of Washington. Our musical interests in that widely diverse realm include: Huge Masekala, Paul Motian, Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderly, David Axelrod, Bill Frisell, and Billie Holliday.
There seems a lot of bands take creative liberties with the word funk. I don’t hear as much funk in your sound as I do jazz and soul. Thoughts on funk and how its sometimes not taken seriously enough?
We’ve never been keen on trying to label our music with specific genres. Obviously, when you think of funk, names like The Ohio Players, Bootsy, Parliament, and Sly come to mind. There aren’t necessarily obvious examples like that today but the funk is out there. And when it’s funky you know it’s funky, and that’s a serious thing.
What can we expect on your new album coming out soon?
Can you share with our readers some of your most memorable shows to date have been and why?
We rolled up to an old blues bar this Summer in Cleveland. It was a Monday night and we had never been there before, so we weren’t expecting much. The show was packed to the gills and bottles were breaking! The audience was very engaged and hanging on to every note. It was a sweaty affair and we hope to be back soon.
Photos by Lauren Stelling