Nashville-based husband and wife Americana duo Smooth Hound Smith, made up of Zach and Caitlin Doyle-Smith, put their emotional baggage front and center in their new video for the hauntingly beautiful "Dog in a Manger," the title track to their forthcoming third album (out on August 9).
Zack Smith says the song was partially inspired by an old Greek fable.
"I toyed with a bunch of different lyrics, but nothing felt 'heavy' enough to really do it justice," Zack Smith tells Wide Open Country. "I remember I was researching something else and I went down some internet rabbit hole and started reading about this old Greek fable, 'Dog In A Manger.' There's a whole story, but the gist is it's an early depiction of gratuitous spite, doing something hostile for no reason, just for the hell of it. There's a lesson to be learned from the fable, certainly, but there's not a whole lot of judgement surrounding it, which I liked. It's just an account of an aspect of human nature that someone along the line decided shouldn't be glossed over. That got me thinking about a lot of the changes that were happening in my life, being recently married, the career path I'd chosen, and later, after reflecting on it for awhile, it's obvious there's a pretty strong religious charge in the title."
Zack Smith says the song reflects everything you carry with you into a new relationship.
"Despite all the clandestine things that may have, in retrospect, inspired the tune, it always came down to the baggage that comes along with being in a long-term relationship with someone you love, and how you never really get to start with a clean slate, or really, fully know someone else in the truest sense," Smith says.
Caitlin Smith says personal items from the couple's relationship, from their couch to the 'Save the Date' from their wedding, are featured in the video, giving an intimate look into their lives.
"The song is about what every song is about: love. We wanted to make sure that the video was a personal reflection of our marriage," Caitlin Smith says. "For better or worse, right? When you truly love someone, you have to get down and dirty; of course you are attracted to each other but that's only surface level. Once you go deeper you have this person who is dissecting you because they are already in love with you and are eager to know you on a more informed level. This video was so personal that we even used our own couch and trucked it around town to film it in different locations. The picture of us that you see Zack pick up off of the dirty ground at the end was from our wedding's 'Save The Date.' Even the dress I'm wearing is a wedding dress! The only thing missing from the video is our dog, Wilma. Other than that it is a peek into our lives; the good, the bad, the ugly. Also, Zack is the one playing the 'bad guy' and I'm the one who is the 'good guy,' but really sometimes I'm a jerk, too. Love and people can both be complicated and we tried to show that in this video. "
Watch the video premiere of "Dog in a Manger," created by cinematographer Craig Harris and director Carl Rosen, below.
For more information on Smooth Hound Smith, visit their official website.