REVIEW: "the storm," the debut EP from scottish alt-pop artist dylan fraser
The musical geniuses seem to be getting their start earlier and earlier these days. At just 18 years old, Dylan Fraser has released one of the best debut EPs I've ever heard. Every track is carefully thought out and crafted around his own personal experience, around his journey from sitting in his bedroom reimagining tracks by his favorite artists to navigating the industry as an artist himself. The breadth of Fraser's inspiration ranges from Radiohead, to Phoebe Bridgers, to Kanye West, which makes sense considering no two tracks on this release make use of the exact same techniques.
Title track "The Storm" is my personal favorite, its catchy lyrics and bouncy melody making it one of the most unforgettable on the EP. There's definitely a reason Fraser chose to title the entire body of work after this track. On the title and concept of the EP, Fraser says, “I like to think of The Storm as my headspace. It’s full of crazy ups and downs and this is me trying to piece it all together and make sense of the world.”
The next track, "Intentions," taps into the same theme we see throughout the EP - Fraser's desperate search for authenticity as he enters the industry. "Vipers" - a frenetic and unrestrained track centered around the uncertainty of youth and having to balance that uncertainty with a career in entertainment - will be featured on the soundtrack for FIFA 2021, which is insane, considering it was literally his debut single. "Vipers" has been BBC Radio 1's Jack Saunders' Tune of the Week, as well as garnering praise from both Triple J and Zane Lowe. The video for the track was self-directed. Dylan Fraser is an unstoppable force already.
"Face Tattoo" is unapologetic and so smooth it's almost impossible to tear myself away as I listen to the EP. "Might just fuck around and get a face tattoo / 'cause it's getting to the point I don't got nothing to prove / if I hate it I'll just blame it on my youth," Fraser sings, almost as if he's telling himself that it's okay to make mistakes when you're young and have the entire world at your feet. Ethereal closing track "I Do These Things For Me" is Fraser's commentary on finding - and keeping - his genuine and original self.
I wish I could think of something more prophetic to say about this EP, but all I have to say is this: Dylan Fraser is good. Like, really fucking good. Like, pay attention to him, because there's no way he's not going to be a superstar good. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram, and The Storm can be streamed wherever you listen to music.