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PREMIERE: Jackson Dyer Drops Catchy ‘Compartments’ EP


Never heard of Jackson Dyer? Here’s what you need to know: when he’s not busy touring Europe or supporting big-name artists, Dyer is pairing insightful lyrics with catchy melodies, and the latest fruit of his labour ‘Compartments’ is as layered and complex as its name suggests.

Several things make The Absolute an amazing opening number for the EP. Firstly, its bent rhythm creates a sound almost like a sea shanty. Secondly, it marks a first exposure to Dyer’s lyrical artistry in style. Featuring lines like “Glowing apparition sinks into your psyche/their lies have been foretold”, this track is like a contract promising the rest of the album will not disappoint. Finally, the steady flow of verse lyrics and gentle rhythmic swing sets up a delicious contrast against the chorus where an infectious guitar riff shines over barely-there grungy synth. What more could you ask for?

Featuring lines like “Glowing apparition sinks into your psyche/their lies have been foretold”, this track is like a contract promising the rest of the album will not disappoint.

Stripped back to minimal instrumentation, Pariahs is a brave and emotive turn following much the same musical philosophy as The Absolute: the instrumental restraint allows Dyer’s searing lyrics to shine: “A glimpse of other lives/So close but we don’t collide/…/You pass a neighbour/Like they’re a stranger”. It’s the subtle things – an unexpected kink in the vocal melody, an unusual guitar melody, the effortless lyrical flow, and that hypnotic chant that takes over towards the end – that make Pariahs a challenge to skip over or forget.

If tripping on offbeat drums and glowing shoegaze guitar is your thing, prepare to fall hard for Projection, Abstraction. Dyer’s vocals float easily above the instrumentation, carrying exactly the kind of ponderance which is to be expected from such a psychedelic intro: “Where is the reason? Where is the rationale?/…/Seek the obtuse but not the bizarre”. The verse is dreamy enough to send you to sleep, but the chorus will bring you back to life with intense cascading drums and thick vocal harmonies.

True to the title, closing number Steal Away is the aural equivalent to waking up on a deserted tropical island – full of lazy rhythms, tropical melodies, and carefree summery vocals. A simple guitar riff forms a base for the verse, built on by Dyer’s vocals, bass, and drums to form an easy, RnB-flavoured tapestry of sound. A galloping drum rhythm sets the chorus apart with some serious energy, but it’s the contrast itself that makes this track stand out – it’s got all the ingredients to make grunge-pop, surf-rock, and Paolo Nutini fans fall in love.

A combination of emotion and execution make for a strong release from Jackson Dyer, and with so many ‘Compartments’, there’s plenty to explore – check out the EP below!

Album Rating: 4


Written by Jess Martyn