Ruben Dawnson's Echo Emotions EP brings out the big feelings in the best way possible. From the very first single on the EP, 'SAYIMGOOD', we're confronted with the most human of tendencies to desire approval and validation. If this doesn't swerve you into an existential crisis, then congratulations you've graduated from human to some kind of supreme being without any of those niggling insecurities. What we love is that Dawnson doesn't complain about his lot in life, he's simply laying out the realities of living with anxiety, loneliness, fear and loss. Although written long before to coronavirus pandemic, it's the eerie foreshadowing of those emotional challenges that makes this EP essential listening even more so.
For the second track, this young Norwegian musician and producer turns to self-soothing in 'Still Moving'. The shuffling indie-pop and RnB-influenced track is a calming salve in the face of the unknown. Third on the EP is 'Rain on my Umbrella', an alternative acoustic track that shows off the bare bones of Dawnson's songwriting. All the production effects are cool and we love that backbeat, but it's the simply combination of his pensive vocal and soft strings that's got us swooning here.
Surely, 'I Don't Want To Be Alone' is the best title on the whole EP, especially in relation to what we're all going through right now. Even though it's perfectly fitting to today, there's always the deeper feeling of loneliness even when we're not self isolating and social distancing. It's the strongest from a purely musical standpoint as well, with the sweeping-yet-bouncy pop rendered in Dawnson's distinct style.
Next up we have 'FYALMA'. For those listeners who were already well aware of this Scandi innovator, you'll know that this was the first track to be released from the Echo Emotions EP. The acronym stands for 'Fuck You Anxiety Leave Me Alone', and right now, we couldn't agree more with that sentiment.
In closing, you'll find title-track 'Echo Emotions'. A dreamy venture into the songwriter's psyche. For around the first forty-five seconds, we drift is a warped production that turns Dawnson's vocals into one belonging to a stranger, perhaps that's how he also feels about that inner voice. Then, we have a brief explosion into a guitar and drum breakdown, where you'll hear a faraway vocal expelling those vaporous feelings. It's certainly the shortest of all the tracks on the EP, but we can totally see why it was chosen to be the title-track; it simply and beautiful ties together everything we've come to understand about this fascinatingly honest creative.
Before we leave you to dive into the EP, here's a quote from Ruben Dawnson about why Echo Emotions is so special to him:
“i wrote this song last summer. it's a very vulnerable and honest song about loneliness, love and insecurity. i often feel lonely, even though i'm not physically alone.. i never would've thought it was gonna be as relevant as it is right now!! i think a lot of people are dealing with these feelings, so it’s dedicated to everyone struggling with loneliness or fear - we’re in it together <3”