Alex Dezen sees The Damnwells frontman and songwriter branching out into a fully-fledged solo career following a series of acoustic EPs during 2014/15, and it’s a hugely enjoyable record.
Dezen revels in the creative space a solo release affords him, and he doesn’t waste the opportunity to experiment. The Beatle-esque “Elephant” is an intriguing insight into the art of songwriting and crafting lyrics, while “Ode to Ex-Girlfriends” grows into a confessional expose of previous messy relationships, with a terrific melody and clever lyrics.
“This is the Last Song I’ll Ever Write on This Guitar” details the painful process of Dezen selling his beloved Martin D-71 acoustic, which he sold to a fan to keep himself afloat and pay the rent. A sad tale, but one which Dezen does not hold back from revealing in all its stark honesty: “I sold it to a fan on the internet, I can’t afford it anymore.”
“Reluctant Love Song” is a whimsical treat, complete with the sound of birdsong outside the home recording studio, while “Leonardo” is a powerful piano-led track. However, the stand-out is the autobiographical “Into the Hands of Hazelton”, detailing the ups and downs of a close 20-year friendship.
Despite the Damnwells’ successful reunion last year, Dezen may still be under the radar but this gorgeously diverse record should help introduce his songwriting talents to a new audience.