HomeMusicDawson Fuss Releases Sophomore EP

Dawson Fuss Releases Sophomore EP

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Nineteen-year-old Santa Barbara native Dawson Fuss’ sophomore EP release Maybe is a five-song collection that seems assured of securing him a place in the pantheon of fast-emerging talents. This coming of age release brims beyond his as Fuss proves himself to be an extraordinarily thoughtful songwriter and performer. He’s shown further wisdom by surrounding himself with first-class collaborators. Multi-platinum award-winning producer Teal Douville helmed the title track and brings the same vibrant aesthetic to bear that distinguishes Douville’s past releases from artists as diverse as Panic! At the Disco, David Guetta, and Gwen Stefani. However, the heart of the release is Fuss’ songs and the pensive, playful, and knowing presence he embodies. 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/dawsonfuss/

“Growing Pains” kicks off the EP in an exemplary fashion. It begins with little more than Fuss’ voice and acoustic guitar before segueing into percussion and keyboard-driven passages keeping a busy pace. The song rushes over listeners without ever careening out of control. Fuss comes across as a songwriter practically bursting out of his skin, eager to communicate, and there’s a wealth of self-examination in his lyrics that never risks self-consciousness. “Life Sucks” is a bit more light-hearted and exhibits a sharp wit. It has a strong beat propelling it forward and the synthesizer-driven arrangement bursts forth with a wealth of color. Fuss’ vocal delivery belies the considerable intelligence fueling this track, and you can’t help but be impressed by his maturity. 

The title song is a reflective power ballad with an impassioned guitar-centric arrangement. The variety of six-string textures spread out throughout the EP’s five songs is one of the release’s strong suits. The chorus might have played choppy in lesser hands, but the stop-start grind that he achieves has a decidedly different effect. It turns the heart of the song into a bold exclamation point that drives its lesson home for listeners. 

“Oblivious” is a convincing rocker with ample guitar and a much more straightforward arrangement. Fuss has a penchant for widescreen choruses, and this song shares that characteristic. However, there is never a single line of attack with the guitar, and the hook proves to be one of the EP’s musical highlights. “Say the Words” is a lovely acoustic ballad with a moderate pace and multi-tracked vocals during its last refrain. This tune’s relaxed yet confident demeanor is our final glimpse into Dawson Fuss’ heart. 

 These five songs are full of the magic we associate with long, transformative careers. You get the feeling, as well, that Fuss is barely scratching the surface of his talents, and we will hear more experimentation and boundary-pushing from him in the coming years. Maybe, however, is more than adequate evidence that his talents are in near full bloom and whets our appetites for what’s to come. He’s an exceptional performer. 

 Heather Savage

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