Forget hiding under the bed, these monsters deserve a spot center stage.
Cranbrook, B.C. native Dawson Rutledge’s debut full length album Monsters is a promising and sweetly enduring breakout into the music industry.
From the first song, it’s easy to hear the talent in Rutledge’s strong voice, beguiling of this tender age of 20; the control and style choices (which definitely pay off) would seem to belong to someone much more seasoned.
Monsters is an enigmatic mix of a café concert, a folk album, and the stripped-down pop vibe so many artists are producing these days.
Heartbreak, acceptance as one of life’s disappointments, is an evident theme running throughout the album, but far from sounding violent and aggressive, Monsters is beautifully, tragically chill and accepting.
Rutledge’s clever, clear and concise lyrics are masterfully put together and a treasure to listen to in an industry that so often popularizes a disregard for storytelling — or sometimes any hint of effort or intelligence at all.
Monsters is superb; the musical embodiment of taking a stroll through a warm spring evening when so many other young artists are conducting a staggered sprint through a sweaty club. Rutledge has elevated himself into a class above many of his peers and more well-known and experienced artists as well.
Admittedly, in being so unique, the first listen to the album was a little underwhelming, but with Rutledge perseverance certainly pays off. With each play the songs shine brighter and brighter.
However, one downside remains. Even after so many listens and falling in love with Monsters, as soon as the earbuds are removed there is no catchy echo remaining in the brain (at least not for me). On the bright side that almost allows for a re-discovery of Rutledge’s musical magic with every listen.
Amelia Naismith is a reporter for the Pipestone Flyer and regularly writes album reviews for the paper.