Nic Dyson is a twenty-one-year old singer/songwriter who is writing songs that feel perfectly fit for his age. He sings about the overwhelming emotions one feels at that age and how one might go about dealing with it. Dyson fits the classic singer/songwriter mold to a tee. On his latest album This One's For You he mixes together the ever-popular concoction of vocals, an acoustic guitar and melancholy in a relatively solid album of songs. Dyson has some innate talent and built a foundation forThis One's For You but it also contains a lot of common pitfalls and clichés you might expect from an artist this young.
One thing a lot of young songwriters tend to do is write music from a first person perspective. Let’s face it, people in their early twenties can be egocentric at times and some people never grow out of that phase. In Dyson’s case he seems to be innocently ignorant that keeping the lyrics focused on a singular perspective of his own feelings and troubles can ostracize listeners instead of creating empathy. Gifted lyricists like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver are able to weave in and out of perspective along with ambiguity and narrative to create musical experiences that make it feel like the songs aren’t so such much about them but about us. Dyson isn’t on that level yet but if anything has more in common with a young Conor Oberst who doesn’t use as many “big” words, analogies or metaphors.
From a musical perspective Dyson is hit and miss. The songs revolve around basic chord progressions and fairly good singing. Dyson is at his best when he picks his guitar and smothers the songs in melancholy.
The first notable track is “That Song” in which Dyson finds a good vocal range from his voice. It’s melancholy and nostalgic but probably could have benefitted from at least one major change in the song. Another song in a similar vein called “What Silence Said” benefits from female accompaniment while “Weather” might remind you of Iron & Wine.
The pool is dense with competition in the melancholy, singer-songwriter department and Dyson has his work cut out for him if he hopes to be in the same league as some of the best in music today. That being said, Dyson is well rounded in singing, songwriting and guitar playing. A little bit of refining, tweaking and more life experience and I’m willing to bet Dyson’s best work lies ahead.
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