Dons Savage is an unparalled talent, a savant of the perfect melody and lyrics which both touch and bite, a throwbook to the Carole King’s and Gerry Goffin’s of Brill Building pop, an instinctive penseuse besting the originators of the Riot Grrrl movement by responding to their conversations of rage and sexuality and finding a place in the world some years before the initial sparks of that particular revolution had even begun. Dead Famous People’s first real album, Harry, is now being unleashed to the world.
Dead Famous People first emerged in the 1980s, releasing on the likes of Flying Nun and earning praise from the likes of John Peel, who invited them in for a session. However, things didn’t work out and to the dismay of many fans, they never released a proper album. Three decades later Dons was tracked down by Fire Records and given the opportunity to finally enter the studio to record. Somewhat more philosophical than her earlier work, Harry is an album that feels like the right one for a world of apocalyptic pandemic, uncertainty and quarantine. It begins with a healthy scoop of Dons’ earlier humour in Looking At Girls (expertly mixed by Dave Trumfio) wherein a woman learns of her lover’s car crash only to be told the cause was, well, look at the title. Goddess Of Chill is a paean to the forces of artistic inspiration in the face of ‘a little worry here, a little chorus there’. Dead Bird’s Eye is a parable of environmentalism through the misdeeds of a small child.
Throughout these songs, Dons’ power over melody and knack for profundity in a single simple line is unchanged since Dead Famous People’s original incarnation. Harry is a rare record in a time of musical factionalism and a world divided into camps of wilfull obscurity and grotesque mockeries of stardom and art, a document of unadorned perfection which will make as much sense to you at sixteen as it will when you’re sixty.
“Bob bought a DFP single which we both really liked, we were drawn to the mystery of the band’s name and the melancholy tone of Dons’ voice.” Pete Wiggs – Saint Etienne // “There was a sense of excitement that something special was happening.” Martin Phillipps – The Chills //
A1 Looking At Girls
A2 Goddess Of Chill
A3 Safe And Sound
A4 Turn On The Light
A5 Dead Birds Eye
B6 Groovy Girl
B7 The Great Unknown
B9 To Be Divine