At just 20 years old, Dave has established himself as one of the UK’s finest talents. His debut album ‘PSYCHODRAMA’ has arrived too much anticipation, a culmination of his succesful EP’s ‘Six Paths’ and ‘Game Over’, a co-sign from Drake, who remixed his track ‘Wanna Know’, and an Ivor Novello Award for his single ‘Question Time‘. It’s been a steady trajectory to this point, and one that the London-born artist has seemed to take in his stride. Every collaboration, move and performance, perfectly timed, fluttering with mainstream attention whilst keeping his steely lyricism and feet firmly grounded. He hasn’t forgotten his childhood growing up in estates, his friends who have been and gone, the tales of sorrow and life pitfalls, Dave raps about it all. An unflinching look into his life and the people in it, society and politics, ‘PSYCHODRAMA’ is a great album, and just the beginning for this extremely talented artist.
The album has a nice flow to it, with a running theme of Dave being at a therapy session. We fleetingly hear the therapist throughout, towards the end admitting that he’ll miss their sessions together. Combined with answering machine messages, the album is a mesh of sounds that give the album a journey like-feel to it, from start, middle to end. It’s a melting pot of different instrumentals too, with the juxtaposition of heavy trap beats, to soft piano and orchestral themes. Although, it’s Dave‘s lyricism and poignant story-telling that really comes to the fore, telling tales of growing up as a young black man in London on ‘Black’, and a powerful story of an abusive relationship on ‘Lesley’. The collaborations add and don’t eclipse on this album, Burna Boy, J-Hus and Ruelle perfectly adding brilliant vocals at just the right time.
After much hype and anticipation, Dave has delivered a truly great album. ‘PSYCHODRAMA’ is out now. Watch his video to ‘Black’ below –
4 / 5
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Featured image credit: The List