ANGUS DAWSON Seeing things in a new light

After years in the making, Perth singer-songwriter Angus Dawson has unveiled his debut album
Looking Over The Red Lights. Featuring 12 tracks of atmospheric and poignant music blending electronica and folk, the record not only captures Dawson’s diverse musical palette, but also the emotional depth conveyed in his lyricism. It’s set to be a milestone weekend for Dawson, as he has revealed that the launch party for the album at Rosemount Hotel this Saturday, April 10 will be his last performance as a solo artist. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Angus Dawson to find out why it’s a time to celebrate his musical journey to date.

Congratulations on releasing your debut album. Looking back now do you feel there was a particular song you felt it all started with?

Thanks! And not really, I think I’ve always wanted to do an album and this body of music just made sense. I got tired of waiting for a non-existent green light to make an album so I just bloody did it.

And did that set a theme or a narrative that the rest of the record followed on from?

In terms of the process, yes. I just went ahead and did things the way I wanted to, I wasn’t searching for validation or recognition. This is just 12 of my favourite songs made by myself with the help of the biggest bunch of legends ever.

What about the lyrics on the album? Did certain subjects or ideas seem to find their way into songs across the release?

Thematically, there’s two ideas for the album as a whole. There’s a pretty steady lyrical theme around the end of a relationship and even though some of the songs are written years apart from one another, there’s a central yearning to be more at peace by myself and to not measure my self-worth off the opinion of others.

The other idea is more to do with the way the tracks are constructed. I love music that stops you in your tracks and evokes something within you that offers a sense of escapism. That’s all I ever try to do with my own music. The title Looking Over The Red Lights is more literal than you might think. It’s about raising your eye-line beyond the minor stresses and frustrations that we’re presented with every day. More so than ever we live in a world that is constantly demanding too much of us; making us feel, look and act a certain way. Music has always acted as a reprieve and I hope that this album can do the same.

And what musical influences did you draw from in creating this album? It feels like there is a blend of several different styles coming together…

So many! At its extremes I really love the dance/electronic world and the limitless creative possibilities they offer, but I also love the raw and organic instrumentation of folk and indie music. I guess I tried to find a way for them to both live in the same space. Artist-wise, it’s a blend between Tourist, Bon Iver and Novo Amor.

And how did you go about capturing your ideas on record? And were there any songs that turned out differently than you expected once you had finished them?

I produce all of my music myself and this album was no different. I think the surprise would be the diversity of ideas. SYDNEY is a pretty energetic dance song in my eyes and the very next track, < (LESS THAN) is a reflective and pensive folk song. I hope that makes sense when people listen to it? Ah well, too late now!

Given so much of this album has been a solo endeavour, how are you going to bring it to life on stage at the launch show at The Rosemount? And who have you enlisted to help capture what you have created on record?

I’ve got my trusty and ever-loyal band joining me again. This time however there will be secret special guest musicians and dancers joining the crew to make it an extra special night. Should be a flippin’ hoot!

What’s next for you for the rest of the year and beyond? And are you listening to anything in particular now that might influence what your next music will sound like?

Funny you should ask, this show will be my last as Angus Dawson. My goalposts have shifted long way and this album is the perfect high-note to call things a day on. I think I’ll make music until the day I die, I just don’t know what form it’ll take. For now, I’m excited to throw one last party and have a slammin’ good time!

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