No listener to Richard Dawson's earlier music has ever discerned a lack of artistic ambition. Whether they got on at the last stop - the 4 track Tyneside-Trout-Mask-through a-Vic and Bob-filter of 2014's Nothing Important - or earlier in the journey, with 2013's The Glass Trunk's visceral song cycle or 2011's The Magic Bridge's somber revels, devotees of his earlier recordings will be at once intrigued by and slightly fearful of the prospect of a record that could make those three landmark releases look like formative work. Peasant is that album.
Peasant will grab newcomers to Richard Dawson's work by the scruff of the neck and refuse to let them go until they have signed a pledge of life-long allegiance. Dawson spent years incubating his singular art on the Newcastle experimental scene before exploding across the UK and Europe with the delicately observed personal lilt of his 2012 album The Magic Bridge. Invitations followed to perform at Kraak, Supersonic, and Latitude festivals as well as being lauded by Late Junction and the Wire, which saw him step musically and emotionally outside of Tyneside.
Both live and on record Dawson is a barrage of musical expression and personality. A shambling exterior, amidst tales of pineapples and underpants, ghosts of family members and cats, his stage presence is at once inviting and awe-inspiring. The visceral power of his voice against the lurching modality of his guitar lines conjures false memories of Tim Buckley and Richard Youngs dueting with Sir Richard Bishop and Zoot Horn Rollo.