Considering the politically-charged undertones of Buckhead Shaman’s new single, perhaps a more suitable title for the song would have been “Wagging the Dog,” especially when you take into account the parade of surreal pooches that constitute the accompanying video. Whether or not the visuals were intended as a distraction matters not; the end result is a seemingly trivial production that project mastermind Tyler Hobbs finds visually appealing but unnecessarily obfuscating. “I’m tired of the term psychedelic,” Hobbs admits. “Everyone puts that word in front of everything they do and make. I usually would steer away from making a video that just serves as trippy eye candy. But in this case I let Colin [Mulligan] make whatever he wanted and it turned out really nice.”

Make of that confession what you will, but what we shouldn’t lose sight of is the hi-fidelity ambition of Hobbs’ immersive songwriting. Rare is the local artist who can shift so seamlessly between sweeping orchestral pop, fogged-over psych rock, and earnest sound experiments, but Buckhead Shaman wears each mask here with confidence and conviction. “Walking the Dog” is warm, propulsive, and, most of all, gorgeous: a sublime surprise that bodes exceedingly well for Hobbs’ soon to be unveiled debut.

Watch and listen above.

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