Nowadays, it seems that nothing new is coming out of the music industry. We have all heard the same tired ideas and lyrics coming from popular artists. Music success relies on the versatility of the artist. Artists should be able to bring new ideas to the table while simultaneously creating their own unique sound.
Jean Dawson does this perfectly. Dawson is a 24-year old Mexican artist based in LA. Dawson’s music is heavily influenced by pop, punk, hip-hop, and indie. He never sticks to one sound, and instead, mixes and matches sounds from different genres. The experimental sound of Jean Dawson is what makes him so distinctive from other artists. He has recently risen in popularity with the release of his second studio album, Pixel Bath.
Dawson takes hold of the specter of death in Pixel Bath. He is able to make light of the subject with melodies that are energetic and full of life. He plays around with synths, vintage drum sets, and guitars.
Jean Dawson’s lyrics are intense, as seen in the track “Policía.” The track focuses on the threat of police brutality. A majority of the lyrics are in Spanish, such as the line “azul y rojo, brujeria, ponle que me persiguen en la noche” which translates to “blue and red, witchcraft, put that they chase me at night.” The song continues to target the issue of police brutality with high energy vocals and guitar.
Personally, my favorite track on the album is “Power Freaks.” It starts with Dawson repeating, “How many times do I have to say, we’re not enemies, ‘round and around and around we go ‘til I” and builds up to a burst of erratic guitars and fast-paced vocals. “Power Freaks” is a strong statement on how too much power can affect people, and even go as far as change them completely. The change in pace within the song reflects that idea.
Not all of the tracks are as upbeat as “Power Freaks.” “Pyrotechnics” is the last track on Pixel Bath. Dreamy synths and whiny vocals combine to create a song that is as powerful as it is vulnerable. Dawson sings about the world ending in a flash. Pyrotechnics is, quite literally, the creation of fireworks. Dawson seems to paint a picture of what he believes the Earth exploding would look like. This track feels like an appropriate end to the heavy album that is Pixel Bath.
Jean Dawson might be the start of a new chapter for the indie genre. His music is the perfect example of genre-bending. The 24-year old artist still has a long way to go, however, his fanbase is only growing.