Photo by Dog Orchestra

The year is 2022. Guns have more rights than women's bodies, a crippling recession is looming, and the entire populace is hurtling toward almost-certain climate catastrophe. The world is an unspeakably cruel, depressing place to live, and the demand for escapism is higher than ever.

While it's highly likely we're about to see an uptick in escapist art over the next few months, the Stockholm-via-Berlin indie duo Dog Orchestra has been running for well over five years.

This much was evident on Meow – Dog Orchestra's fantastically received debut EP. Produced by Bram Inscore and mixed by the Grammy Award-winning Darrell Thorp, the six-song collection was a bleary-eyed odyssey through the Friedrichshain quarter, all vibrantly rendered via car-commercial-sized synth-pop.

Dog Orchestra's penchant for escapism continued to show itself in the duo's more recent works, most notably their single "I Think I'm in Tokyo." Supported by the likes of MrSuicideSheep and Early Rising, "ITIIT" was a neon-lit dose of glittering wanderlust that – intentionally or otherwise – served as Daniel DePierre and Niklas Malmborg's Lost in Translation moment.

And this Wednesday (July 13), DePierre and Malmborg continue to transport us to a parallel universe where basement clubs are open around-the-clock on their new single, "HOURS." The final taste of their forthcoming EP, the Jeremy Dawson-produced Spoon, "HOURS" is perhaps the most potent distillation of Dog Orchestra's escapist brilliance yet.

Opening to a glittering synth motif, "HOURS" promptly paints a cinematic scene: In the depths of darkness, a lost, lonely DePierre pleads with a lover not to leave. As basslines surge up like high-rises come the chorus, DePierre lists a surreal set of numbing agents that counteract the monotonous misery of life: A whisky crutch. An exit wound. A horse in a hotel room.

It's not until the final glorious moments of "HOURS" that the walls finally collapse around DePierre, giving way to a bedazzling night sky. And then, the revelation comes: The one true escapism is love. "Waiting for the stars to follow you, and I will wait there, too," repeats our main protagonist – synths raining down around him like comet tails in all of their fizzy splendor.

Perhaps if we all got a little more love in our lives, the world wouldn't be in such a sorry, unforgiving state. Until then, We Are: The Guard will take as much of Dog Orchestra's luminescent synthy escapism as we can get. Sometimes, you just have to keep running.

"HOURS" is out now. Spoon EP is coming late summer/early fall.

Jess Grant is a frustrated writer hailing from London, England. When she isn't tasked with disentangling her thoughts from her brain and putting them on paper, Jess can generally be found listening to The Beatles, or cooking vegetarian food.