Nico Hernandez


jean dawson redefines the dream on the twin singles “dummy” and “ghost”

June 16, 2021

Like the most vivid dreams, Jean Dawson’s new single “Dummy” is full of indelible imagery that you’re going to spend the rest of the day contemplating. It’s fragmented and disjointed but adds up to something complete and tantalizingly narrative through the surreality. The music’s frantic, almost drumandbass, percussion keeps the pulse moving at a breakneck speed beneath his winding guitars and synths. You never get a chance to rest your retinas or ear drums as Dawson jumps between more ideas in 3 minutes than most bands have in a career. We tend to describe music as “dreamlike” when it’s spaced out and chill, but Dawson’s latest may have just re-defined the adjective for good.

Dawson explains, “Every time someone tries to tell me about a dream they had it always feels like a run on sentence – Dummy is a run on sentence.”



On the flipside, Dawson’s “Ghost*” grows from a sleepy guitar arpeggio into an anthemic howl. Dripping with sun-soaked effects, Dawson intones “I’ll eat the whole world with one bite” before the song halts mid-line and the dream vanishes. The single is part of Apple Music’s Juneteenth celebration, and Dawson explains he wrote it “for the people who’ve felt unseen and unheard,” adding “The holiday itself should never have needed to exist. My ancestors should have never been slaves and built a country that would show to be a curse to my Black skin. Nevertheless, I live in this version of reality where Black folk were and are seen as beasts, devils, and animals. So the day my beautiful Black ancestors were freed is the greatest cause for celebration and reflection.” Grab your copy at Apple Music’s Freedom Songs and follow Jean Dawson on Instagram @jeandawsn.