Nico Hernandez


Jean Dawson Pushes His Ambition To New Levels On ‘”XCAPE”, PT. 1’

May 12, 2023

It’s always a good day when there’s new shit from Jean Dawson. The ludicrously prolific singer-songwriter-producer’s work gets tighter with each release. His latest, “XCAPE”, PT. 1 JEAN DAWSON AS “PHOENIX,” the first in a planned trilogy, traces out a character study of “Phoenix.” Dawson’s alter-ego draws on his own experiences, and like the best conceptual art is intensely personal and unlike anything else. Jean peppers the two tracks with references to the music of his youth, casting off lines about DJ Screw, Three 6 Mafia, and Bad Religion above guitar and bass lines that would turn Robert Smith’s head. The post-punk drive is a good match for Dawson’s sonic ambitions, tying together some of his most expansive production in a way that feels both organic and fitting for the story of a young man trying to write his way through a world where he exists more as a prism than person.

Describing the protagonist of this mini-opera, Jean says: “Phoenix is a boy on the fringe. He is described to write with the tenacity of Kurt Cobain and the subversive subjectivity of a David Bowie. Using himself as a mirror for whoever decides to look at him because he is a product of the world rather than a product of perceived individuality. He is a manifestation of misunderstanding unawareness. His ideas are flirtatious, asymmetric and brash outwardly contradicted by his own lack of personal identity. Phoenix is only as real as the listener listening.”



Follow Jean Dawson @jeandawsn for more.