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Richard Dawson on Friday 24th September 2021
Dawson is a singular voice, part savant-genius, part court jester; a songwriter whose subjects and characters are often drawn from the local, the historical and the colloquial, yet have a timelessness to them, his music echoing with voices past, present and future.
Richard Dawson, the black-humoured bard of Newcastle, returns to release his sixth solo album 2020.
Where its critically-acclaimed predecessor Peasant (2017) gave a voice to the citizens of the ancient early medieval northern kingdom of Bryneich via a set of narratives as bawdy as Chaucer and as epic and bloody as Beowulf, 2020 is an utterly contemporary state-of-the-nation study, that uncovers an equally tumultuous and even bleaker time. Here is an island country in a state of flux; a society on the edge of mental meltdown. This is England today.
Nuanced and challenging, the ten songs also conversely feature Dawson’s most melodic moments yet. Many of his musical trademarks – unexpected time signatures, strange flourishes and welcome digressions, sounds simultaneously harsh and honeyed, sensitive and abrasive – are in place, but more than ever such disparate components are corralled to create a highly focused collection that offers a thoroughly dire diagnosis of the UK, yet is shot through with flecks of hope.
Dawson’s lyrics find magic and meaning in the minutiae of simple everyday life, each lyrical signifier adding to a unique perception that is one short step removed from reality – perhaps as a tactic to process and survive it - and as such he should be recognised as a visionary. If nothing else, 2020 confirms him as one of the most astute and original lyricists in music today.
“This is absolutely brilliant on many, many levels, and further underlines why Richard Dawson is a
true hero of British music: humane, hilarious and reaching for melodies no-one else does.” – Ben B-T,
Uncut - 9/10
“2020 is, without a doubt, Dawson’s most direct album to date. Entirely self-played but ambitious in its
palette and bold in its arrangements, it finds him adding new lucidity and sense of melody to his knotty
and raucous take on folk music. It’s hard not to conclude that 2020 is the record we need right now: a
state-f-a-nation address for a nation in a bit of a state.”
'At times deeply, painfully intimate, but also witty, bawdy, surreal, disquieting, nostalgic, brash and fearlessly individual'
Music Genres: Blues, Folk, Rock
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