Having recently toured across Aotearoa as a member of Wiri Donna‘s live band, DOONS songwriter Elliott Dawson is striking out on his own with a run of shows celebrating the launch of debut solo album Hang Low. Swinging into the four main centres this September and October, Dawson today treats fans to ‘Bald Spot’, the third tune revealed from his forthcoming long playing opus. Not in fact an ode to those worrisome early signs of a chrome-domed future, ‘Bald Spot’ channels the high tension influence of OPN’s 2017 soundtrack for Good Time, via punchily rhythmic and horn-inflected passages to anxiety-inducing effect — as Dawson dramatically croons “There’s no escape / and you know it”. Recorded with James Goldsmith and band, Dawson unpacked the technical challenges involved with laying down ‘Bald Spot’ in a studio setting…
“I think it’s one of the weirdest and most technically complex things I’ve ever made… I was trying to create a real natural blend between organic and inorganic sounds. I produced the entire album on my laptop using MIDI sounds and drum samples. With my band I then went into the studio and re-recorded all those same parts with live instruments, following which I went through and decided what to keep, what to cut, and what to layer together.
I think Bald Spot best illustrates that approach, the drums are live sounding but driving and machine-esque in their feel. Also, with the big saxophone lines in the chorus, they’re layered up with live flute and some siren-type beat synths to create a tone that’s both organic and inorganic at the same time
It’s not often that I feel like something sounds exactly like I wanted it to from idea through to execution, and that’s a massive credit to James Goldsmith and my band for helping it get across the line, and hopefully a sign of how the rest of the album sounds.” — Elliott Dawson
Elliott Dawson – Hang Low Album Release
Friday 2nd September – Valhalla, Wellington
Friday 16th September – Bark @ Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin
Saturday 17th September – Space Academy, Christchurch
Saturday 15th October – The Wine Cellar, Auckland
Tickets available HERE via UTR
‘Hang Low’ launches on Friday 2nd September, vinyl LP preorders available HERE.