The last time Burlington, Vermont singer/songwriter Tyler Dawson put out a record was in 2007, so his latest record Loose Ends seems long overdue. Loose Ends could likely refer to the albums shaping together with some of the songs represented having been written as early as 2009.
Dawson has been playing music for some eighteen years now, and his influences lie heavily steeped in the indie rock of the mid to late ‘90s like Dinosaur Jr., Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. One also hears a little bit of Guided By Voices in the lo-fi bedroom recording sound that pervades the entirety of Loose Ends giving the guitar focused songs a watery glimmer.
There are three songs in particular here which were written prior to the rest; "How It Goes,” "Don't Be Afraid” and "Been Trying" which stick out a bit as far as tone and production go. They are steeped in a more lo-fi element of tape hiss and are more loosely structured than some of the later pieces on Loose Ends.
This sense of later coherency speaks volumes to the growth and development of Dawson’s particular style which one could also file under the easy listening pop made by the great Bob Mould. I’m thinking particularly here about the jaunty and restless rocker “Blocked Out” and the sunny and sugary pop of “Time Will Tell.” Another old school singer/songwriter in the pop rock vein, Matthew Sweet popped into my mind as I listened to the clean-dirty guitar rocker “Flowers.”
Dawson closes out Loose Ends with “Knots” an ode to the aforementioned Built to Spill. One hears that band’s ghostly presence in the guitar structure and the nearly six-minute long clock-in. But what’s missing here on Loose Ends is the backing bands that all these great musicians I’ve spent the time alluding to have also had in their arsenal.
And that’s just what Tyler Dawson is hoping to accomplish in the coming months, to find a band to help flesh out these pieces and give them the muscle they need to stand out. This is not to say that Loose Ends isn’t a good record; the songs are well crafted and the lyrics explore topics beyond the usual heartbreak and political themes one seems to always hear time and again. Listen to Loose Ends for what it is, but a second and third time around, start to plug in extra guitars, make the bass more prevalent, and kick up the drums, and you’ll hear a whole different record.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook