2020 is an utterly contemporary state-of-the-nation study, that uncovers a tumultuous and bleak time. Here is an island country in a state of flux; a society on the edge of mental meltdown. This is England today.
On 2020, Dawson introduces us to grand themes through small lives. His are portraits of human beings struggling with recognisable (and dare we say it, relatable) concerns, conflicts and desires, each reminding us that tragedy and gallows humour are not mutually exclusive, and that the magical can sit next to the mundane. Lyrically it is by far Dawson’s hardest-hitting and unflinchingly honest album to date. It is his poetic masterwork.
Within, we find disgruntled civil servants dreaming of better days, anxiety-addled joggers listlessly searching Zoopla for houses they cannot afford in their spare time, amateur footballers who think they’re Lionel Messi and beleaguered pub landlords battling rising floodwaters.
Sonically, Dawson’s new-found fascination with pure pop music is also evident across 2020, manifesting itself in some of his most direct work to date. Melding his most melodic moments with flashes of choral dissonance, nerve-shredding crescendos, heartfelt laments and a deceptive finger-picking style.