At only 18 years old, Scottish musician Dylan Fraser sounds like he’s a music veteran on his debut EP, The Storm. With a fully-formed soundscape, Fraser has unashamedly launched himself into the music industry, and is heading for the stratosphere. Overall, the release explores themes of introspection, determination and self-validation, set to an all consuming soundtrack.
The release opens with the rattling Vipers. The feverish track navigates inner turmoil and feelings of uncertainty, tinged with paranoia. The propulsive song served as the singers debut to the world, expertly exhibiting clear and precise production whilst also highlighting Frasers vocal ability. Full of insanely catchy melodies, the song feels like it’s taken the unconventional pop sounds and introspective songwriting artists like Lorde catapulted on to the world stage, giving it a new twist.
On Face Tattoo, the singer takes a more minimalistic production approach. The smooth track is less experimentative melodically, however creates a nice ambient space within the release, highlighting the versatility presented on the EP. The releases title track also happens to be its stand out track. Opening with maximalist electronic beats, the power of the song is already evident. Feeling like a mix between earlier music from The Weeknd and Billie Eilish, the opening riff takes you back to 2010 when singer Sky Ferreira burst onto the scene with Obsession. The Storm is lyrically introspective, with the musician analysing his own headspace, whilst also persevering through life’s hardships, ready to take it all on.
I Do These Things For Me sees Fraser critique online behaviours, and individuals warped and curated representations of themselves on social media. The singer is searching for authenticity on the dark electro track. The song feels like it’s taken straight from a Hollywood blockbuster, it could fit right in on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 soundtrack, which was curated by Lorde - further drawing some similarities between the two artists. However, Fraser takes his music to a darker place sonically, and sometimes lyrically. The brooding dark-pop sounds present throughout the tracks feel fresh and understated, there is authenticity weaved throughout the release that we see in the likes of well established artists.
The EP closes with Intentions. The track centres itself around more hip-hip influenced beats and sounds. Intentions could serve as a part two to its predecessor, with Fraser singing of his hopes to be humble and down to earth, as opposed to self-centered with bad intentions. It’s another track that could belong to a hit film, with the release as a whole having cinematic qualities threaded throughout.
Every so often, we get an artist who has the ability to change the game, and on his debut, Dylan Fraser has set the groundwork and has his eyes set on the crown. Full of twists and turns the release is maximalist electro-pop at its best. The brooding dark production of the EP is the perfect soundscape to let Fraser’s vocals run free, and showcase his smooth and powerful voice. There is a genre-defying ethos to the record, incorporating dark-pop, hip-hop and even slight references of gentle-folk music infused within the tracks. The blending of these genres, production, high-energy guitars and vocals creates a very grand listening experience, and will leave you wanting more.
The Storm is out now!