Douglas Dare - Seven Hours (Erased Tapes)

Young singer-songwriter shows maturity far beyond his years

Released Sep 30th, 2013 via Erased Tapes / By Adam Bunn
Douglas Dare - Seven Hours (Erased Tapes) Douglas Dare is the newest signing to the esteemed Erased Tapes label, home to such modern classical luminaries as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds, the latter of whom he recently supported on a UK tour. Dare is a more traditional singer-songwriter compared to many of his contemporary label mates, but his rather unique take on songwriting — lyrics spliced together from poems and short prose pieces — helps to make the tracks on this EP stand out from what might be considered your typical singer-songwriter fare.

Dare's ethos is clearly less is more, and it works. The four tracks here are held together by little more than a piano and Dare's rich-yet-slightly tortured voice, coupled with minimalist percussion, which is delicately deployed as the tracks build momentum. Each song was recorded straight to cassette, giving a charming warmth and rawness to the tracks. The pace is slow, almost mournful, and considered. "Don't let them see you fail / I will not see you fail", Dare pleads on 'Lungful', the EP's teaser track, which builds from a gentle opening into a wrought ballad. 'Seven Hours', a confessional tale of uncertainty, scales from a relatively subdued beginning to an urgent crescendo, before falling away in a wash of piano.

There's a depth and emotional fragility to these songs that defies Dare's mere 22 years of age. Over the course of an entire album, it's likely some more light and shade to Dare’s sound would be needed. But for now, these four songs offer an exciting glimpse into the world of a most delicate talent.