Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling is the latest addition to the Slaughter Beach, Dog canon, following four full-length releases and a handful of singles, EPs and live albums. Since his days as one of the frontmen of the much loved and critically adored band Modern Baseball, Ewald has been a prolific songwriter and road dog, with an ever-expanding fanbase across the globe.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Ewald moved from Philadelphia, his home of a decade, to a house in the Poconos. With less distractions and a calmer mind, he filled his time taking long walks and listening to the likes of Neil Young, Randy Newman and Tom Waits. These classic songwriters inspired Ewald to take a quintessential approach to writing Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling and in July 2022, he gathered his bandmates at The Metal Shop, their longtime studio in Philadelphia. Ewald showed them songs he had written over the past two years on an acoustic guitar and the band played what they were hearing for each – emphasizing the instinctual, listening to each other, and above all adding parts to serve the song.
Craig Finn, of The Hold Steady, and also an acclaimed songwriter in his own right, says that on the record, “There’s beautiful space in everything. It’s patient and aware. I’ve always admired Jake’s eye for detail and it’s on full display here. It’s an album filled with gorgeous imagery and vivid worlds are built within each song. I see it all. Most impressively to me, he consistently finds the divine and sacred in the everyday,
It’s my opinion that every record is about growing up- we all have to get a little older before we make the next one. Crying, Laughing, Waving, Smiling examines a particular weightlessness that is part of spreading wings, putting down roots, trying to grab ahold of something. This is how it feels when you’re making the moves that you make while becoming the person that you’re going to be.”