I was just about to update my playlist of the 10 tracks I have on repeat right now – imaginitively titled The 10 – when I realised that I’ve only actually blogged about 1 of them up here. So that’s what the next 9 posts are for, and along with them, I’ll update the playlist track by track. First up: London-based composer and singer-songwriter Douglas Dare.
I’ve gone back to my obsession with vocals with this choice – there’s something hesitant about the slight syncopation in the vocal melody of “Seven Hours” – the first track I heard from the 23 year old artist – that evokes an instant empathy.
His debut album, Whelm is out on May 12th on Erased Tapes and there’s a little preview snippet stream of each track from the album up at this link too.
From the label that boasts a roster of accomplished composers including Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds – the latter two have seen support from Douglas Dare on their recent tours – it’s no wonder the intensely meandering piano melodies and earnest vocals on what I’ve heard so far from him lend themselves to a somewhat pensive and wistful form of escapism.
The words that stand out the most in his biography are “immersive”, “erratic emotions”, “depth” yet with a haunting restlessness that gives the impression of being a little lost and overwhelmed – which is where the title of the album comes from: “…To be engulfed. To be buried. To be whelmed” (Douglas Dare).
He’s touring extensively at the start of this year, starting in the US and Canada but coming over here in April – April 17th to be precise – when he’s performing at The English Speaking Union, and will also be reading from his newly published lyric book Nine Poems, on the theme of unrest. If you miss him in London, there’s another chance at The Great Escape Festival (Brighton) in May.
Enough from me….this is a streaming excerpt of all four tracks from his Seven Hours EP (2013) – my favourite is the first, the song of the same name, “Seven Hours”. Listen:
Waiting for a first film score…