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Douglas Dare Aforger Erased Tapes

Having signed to Erased Tapes back in 2013, Douglas Dare has gained acclaim for his resonant songwriting and his classical- leaning composition. With Aforger, Dare’s second LP, he studies the relationship be- tween reality and fiction, often applying these concepts as a way to explore autobiographical tales of heartbreak.

Album opener Doublethink begins with the Orwellian notion of reality as something that can be manipulated and changed. “Ignorance is my bliss/ don’t want to fall out of this/ freedom is slavery/ my mind won’t ever help me,” Dare sings to a crescendo of harmonies and marching piano chords. The song is an expression of the pain the singer went through after finding out that his partner had been living a double life, and although Dare claims Aforger is not strictly a ‘break-up’ album, its influence seems to lie at the root of most tracks.

Dare’s lyrics are frank and often painfully revealing. Oh Father provides an intimate account of Dare coming out to his dad, “I want you to love him as much as I do,” he pleads. On the stripped-back brass ballad Stranger, he paints the picture of a deteriorating relationship:“Your face has changed/ your body used to belong to me/ now I look away/ if you take your clothes off.” With Aforger, it becomes clear that Dare is first and foremost a wordsmith, and that everything else – the cascading horns, grainy harmonies, poignant pianos – makes the minimal canvas onto which he can convey his unashamedly human emotions.