Freddie Dickson’s story is one of a kind. It sinks roots in 2014, when the artist signed a deal with Columbia Records. He quickly realised how contrasts and disharmony over his creative process were too much to take. “He was becoming lost in the major-label machine”, states his website, so Freddie decided to cut his ties with the major label and go back to a pure indie and DIY dimension. From there, a completely different story started being written and ‘Panic Town’ is the result of a long process.
Freddie’s debut album is an introspective journey inside the human mind, the outcome of a path taken by the artist while he was struggling with that feeling of being lost. Melancholic allegories, sharp lyrics and upbeat rhythms with sudden changes of registry are what ‘Panic Town’ has to offer, and overall – believe me – it’s a journey through 10 tracks that could stand alone. Each of them.
‘Fuel’, for instance, is a tangible example of what I have just said. Not only is it a powerful lead single, a memorable and powerful indie rock track, but also it summarises what Freddie Dickson has to say, loudly, out there. The evocative video for the song gives a further insight of what the artist is talking about through his lyrics and songwriting. “When I stepped away from the music industry for a while – Freddie said about the track – I realised how blind I had been and how caught up I had become during the whole experience. The two characters in the video portray the then and the now.”
The highly anticipated LP flows through its 41 minutes of fragile landscapes. Freddie’s voice reaches highs you wouldn’t expect, on the opening ‘All Means Something’ as well as on the majestic ‘Martim Moniz’, my favourite number out of the 10 tracks. Not to mention ‘Hideout’, or the other painfully beautiful ‘Feel Like You Should’.
The consistency of the record is what captures me the most, and it’s rather difficult to draw comparisons to the likes of other artists. Dickson’s voice penetrates the atmosphere and it’s impossible not to let it in. ‘Manic In You’ is one of the other tracks I would use as an example to bring some sort of proof of how powerful this guy’s songwriting is impactful.
It was about time, yet ‘Panic Town’ is one of the most interesting and sharp example of indie production I have come across in months. It’s an album that naturally goes on repeat, and it perfectly suits our times. It’s a genuine letter, introspectively written by the artist about his life and its intricacies. What makes it so special is that right the middle of those brooding melodies and fragile choruses, you can find yourself too.
Shakey Records | 2017
Tracklist & Stream