Years ago, when I was at the pinnacle of childish innocence and curiosity, I excitedly bounded towards my neighbour's dog – since I didn't have one of my own – with the hope of befriending him. Within seconds, that hope had vanished and I found myself screaming and wriggling and getting a tetanus shot for a dog bite. I have since learnt that not only is running up to (and grabbing) a stranger's dog not a good idea, but also that although domesticated, dogs are predators, wired with the inherent instinct to bite to defend their territory or establish dominance. Obviously, Phil Jones' pseudonym Dog Bite triggered this somewhat traumatic memory, but, as I started listening to Velvet Changes, it started to seem appropriate, as these canine instincts began to appear applicable to his debut.

Let me explain. As with any debut album, Velvet Changes comfortably establishes Dog Bite's territory – of the musical sort – which lies somewhere between the enigmatic genre of 2012 ('chillwave') and psychedelic-electro-folk. Furthermore, Jones has been making music since the end of his high school days, and officially began Dog Bite after dropping out of art school, self-releasing several tracks and a 7-inches on Young Turks. Having had several years of musical experience then, it wouldn't be wrong to expect something confident, a well-established sound – and that is exactly what Velvet Changes offers and defends.

And although some album covers can be completely detached from the content of the record itself, this one has been well thought out; its alluring mystery is visually captivating, mirroring the album's equally enticing melodic obscurity. So 'Forever, Until' gets things underway with a whirring echo that surges straight into a twanging guitar riff, resonating in unison with Jones' hazy vocals. This opening track is a clear indicator of what to expect from the rest of the album, and so is very much about absorbing the whole aesthetic behind Dog Bite. 'Supersoaker' is drenched in a rich, glimmering wooziness, combining chattering drums and dreamy vocals with a wealth of distorted, trembling synths that flourish with such serenity it sounds as if they could float away. 'No Sharing' isn't as self-centred as it sounds; there is in fact a quintessential 'sharing' of instrumentation, as metallic percussion unites with drums while synths fill-in for guitar solos that later return the favour. As it fades with an ethereal hum, it's time for 'Prettiest Pills' to get gritty.

It starts out a lot firmer than the other tracks, grating lead and rhythm guitars against each other while the drums patter excitedly until suddenly, a peculiar electronic-refrain kicks in, and the whole song is eagerly submerged in the tenets of 'shoegaze'. Similarly structured is 'Native America', that hauntingly harmonises and repeats the line, 'I'm running with the clouds and taking everything'. 'Stay Sedated' utilizes (appropriately) numbed guitars, while 'My Mary' closing things with a hazy howling of electronics and droning vocals.

Jones' influences are undoubtedly apparent and yet remain subdued, although there are distinct moments throughout that echo the work of Portishead and Caribou. While each song is confidently composed and instrumentally arranged in purposeful, vibrant layers, it may take a listen or two to for the album to achieve its desired effect. Just as your best friend was once a stranger, Velvet Changes involves a little bit of 'getting to know' each song, and allowing the magical compositions to take control.

The entire album is thoughtful and rich with serene distortion and hidden dimensions that gradually reveal themselves as you familiarise yourself with the individual songs. Although the vocals tend to be frustratingly indistinguishable – if you're one to want to sing along – they are nevertheless blended creatively into the fuzzy effects of guitars and synths that results in a glowing refrain so surreal that this almost doesn't matter. So thankfully, for this type of Dog Bite you won't need a tetanus shot – or be haunted by traumatic childhood memories – but it will certainly infect you, only this time, with a blissful melodic tenderness.