Introducing… Freddie Dickson

Our Introducing... series focuses on artists who we think are worth shouting about. Here we have doom-pop aficionado Freddie Dickson.

Introducing… Freddie Dickson Here at Bearded we aim to shed light on acts who don't necessarily have giant labels or muscley budgets waving banners behind them. This Introducing series will focus on artists who we think are great, regardless of how much hype surrounds them or where their origin story lays.

Name: Freddie Dickson
Location: London, UK
Genre: Doom-pop
Similar Artists: Lana Del Rey, The Neighbourhood, Blonds
Contact: Facebook, Twitter
Events: Debut EP Shut Us Down released last week.

Since Lana Del Rey's polarising entrance into the music world, we've seen more and more artists utilising/recycling/altering her signature sound, like pop-rockers The Neighbourhood and indie Americana outfit Blonds. Built on romantic, sweeping strings, golden pop vocals and hip-hop beats, it's what Shepherd's Bush native Freddie Dickson refers to as 'doom-pop'. It's a pointedly US style, borrowing from country music and '60s R&B, churning out paeans to the woes of Stateside living and the pitfalls of the American dream. However, us Brits across the pond are taking to it passionately – the melodrama, high production values and bitter emotion apparently ignite something within our stoic nature.

Freddie Dickson sings like someone has jabbed a blade into his vena cava. These are his final, dying words – he spills his soul like Mercutio and weaves tales of a tainted life, marred by fallen love and eternal suffering. It is overwrought and intensely over-acted, but his music is all the more powerful for it; he's putting on an intimate show, baring his innermost, and as is in our human nature, we rubberneck. He wants people to watch his denouement, and in our schadenfreude, we're more than happy to oblige. His vocals are effortlessly mighty, all sighing gasps and breathy barbs, with a smoothness like pop sirens and earthquake cracks like Ben Howard or alt-J.
The 24 year old's EP is a stunning quartet of modern gothic cuts. Guitars reverberate amongst silence and white-noise-bass, hip-hop beats whip and crack underneath the gooey synth ambiance. It's injected with wisps of orchestral strings and piano stings. 'Red Eyes' is home to fret buzz and spidery axe-work akin to 'Lullaby' by The Cure. There are funeral march backing vox and Dickson's voice cracks more than once in the midst of brooding melodics. The title track, 'Shut Us Down', reminds us in more ways than one of 'Born To Die' – it's full of distraught harmonies and disconnected lyrics: “Tell me why I feel so numb/ when it's you I left alone.” It's apocalyptic, it's the kind of end-of-the-world confession that incites shivers.

Given his exceptional talent for soul-baring and reckless emotion, we're likely to see far more of Dickson soon. The music he conjures is more fashionable right now than Delevingne, his chichi noises cutting razor-like impressions into the blogosphere; expect him to be quoted endlessly on Tumblr. This is a singer-songwriter who revels in texture, the depth of lyrics and pop glamour, and as a result, he's made music that's positioned to ambush the Top 40. He's trained his aim on every heart in sight. Shut Us Down is him pulling the trigger.