Episode #6 Douglas Dare
Episode #6 = Douglas Dare. Yes! Very excited about this one as Douglas is a favourite singer-songwriter of mine, and as someone who mainly listens to instrumental music that's saying something.
Douglas is a highly respected songwriter and pianist, signed to one of the most exciting labels around today, Erased Tapes (celebrating their 10th anniversary this year).
His voice is instantly recognisable, effortless and precise but beyond the beauty and technical abilities of his voice there is incredible music accompanying it. The music is often quite experimental and the production, at times, in your face. It makes for exciting listening and is far from a bog standard voice and piano situation (although when he does that, he does it VERY well).
Douglas has released 2 album on Erased Taped, Aforger and Whelm. Both are well worth a listen, in one sitting if you can (especially Aforger). Both albums have been loved by both critics and audiences, it's an exciting time to speak with Douglas as he's now working towards his 3rd album which we discuss in the episode.
He has toured with label mate Ólafur Arnalds and collaborated with others, most recently on his new track 'Darling' (a track that we discuss in the episode...(video below)) where he is joined by Masayoshi Fujita and Rival Consoles.
In the episode we discuss his composition process with some examples of where he pulls inspiration from (a variety of places, art forms and experiences) and some tricks he uses to write outside of his comfort zone. We talk about his second album, 'Aforger' in some detail. It was born out of a series of hardships happening in Douglas' life. He cleverly crafted the album in a way that George Orwell's 1984 became a "mirror" for all this material to be be held up against.
We discuss his non music interests, particularly the drag side to his life and how he is aiming to incorporate more queer culture in his music.
We also have a crack at understanding pop culture.
If you're a singer-songwriter then you will hopefully get a lot out of this episode; Douglas shares many useful stories and approaches that could be useful for your own work.
Below is the video for his latest release, 'Darling'......
Why not listen further to a playlist of Douglas' music on Spotify, all these tracks featured in the episode.
Patti Smith's 'Advice to the Young'. Inspiring words for Douglas and most likely to you if you work in the arts.
all photography by Max Adleman
A huge thanks to Douglas for being up for an excuse the mess day. I had a blast working with him!
Please do get in touch with me if you have any feedback for the podcast, i'd love to know your thoughts. [Particularly if you have concerns about the length of each episode]
excuse the mess is gratefully supported by Arts Council England, PRS Foundation and the Noted Fellowship
* Good scrolling if you are here, your reward is the knowledge of a 5% discount for etm listeners at Red Dog Music. Type in "excusethemess" at checkout for some money of your music gear wants and needs.