Despite only very recently being introduced to Nic Dyson’s music, I can concretely say that I’m a huge fan. His voice is coarse but tender, while his lyrics are bleak yet whimsical. These dichotomies are the driving force behind Nic’s discography, which largely comprises heart-on-sleeve acoustic jams. At a mere twenty three minutes in length, his latest release Figments is a gorgeous set of dreamy, vaguely folky ballads that provides an intoxicating atmosphere.
Nic’s voice is fairly barebones throughout this album, his hushed tones are sometimes lusciously layered but usually stand solitarily amidst the Winnipeg singer’s beautiful instrumental creations. Having first heard Nic when he was performing live as part of an online festival, I know how incredibly talented he is and his guitar wizardry translates wonderfully into the songwriting on Figments. Every song here is great for the same reasons, but the shifting play styles and production techniques ensure that every track accomplishes a slightly different emotion. In just the first handful of songs, the listener experiences Nic both at his most hopeful and determined and his most weary and defeated.
‘Apologies’ is the longest song here and also one of the most desperate-sounding. The track is one of the more instrumentally dramatic, it’s certainly mixed to sound less minimal and the production occasionally overrides Nic’s voice in volume. It’s an apt metaphor for the hopeless-sounding subject matter that the singer addresses here. The following track is ‘Quiet’, which also serves as the album’s epic finale. Here, the guitars are less overbearing and merely twang harmoniously behind an increasingly passionate vocal performance. Nic is at his most raw and emotive on this song, almost as if he can no longer contain the whirlwind of emotions that have been wreaking havoc in his mind for the prior twenty minutes.
There may be longer releases in his catalogue, but it goes without saying that Figments is Nic Dyson’s most immersive, personal set of recordings to date. Everything from the production to the arrangements to the delivery is pretty much perfect, resulting in an enormously complete-sounding ten tracker that will undoubtedly attract newcomers joining the singer’s ever-expanding fanbase.
Listen to the album in full here.
Follow Nic on Twitter here.
– Chris (@108mics)