by Ryan Doyle Elward
So this won’t be the album that you snag strictly due to its blatant Summer appeal, or that it is written by someone you necessarily care or know about personally, but it will have a place to be appreciated because pieces of you are tucked away inside, prepared for further investigation and discovery. Yet not in a woeful, dreary, lamentation of self kind of way. And I guess this is where the album begins, sort of couched in personal examination where he, and we, are discarding what was not useful and manicuring the rest. Moving forward, proving onward. It sounds like an album tucked somewhere between The Beatles‘ Revolver and Rubber Soul, and in more ways than one. Like these iconic albums, Dimensions embodies a gritty tone, even if not necessarily exemplified to the fullest in sound, but more so in the content and the manner of expression, with the vocals dragging along giving off the feeling of disclosing intimate information begrudgingly and dazed.
As Dustin Lovelis created this album, it is clear that this was a cathartic process, even if in a private sort of way. Kinda like how, in the shower you have all those walls and so you sing at full blast. Aesthetic distance. Its letting things show and hiding them in a different sort of way too, by the discussing of items without verbatim retelling. This is probably how it has to be though, to make it relatable, and not entirely specific to his experiences. Because, part of the effort is to express what difficulty you’ve seen, while still setting it within welcomed parameters to be relatable to other’s experiences not exactly alike your own. In “Space Between” he tells of a weight lifted off of his shoulders, and later of a desire to share about the space between, which might be the idea of standing outside of yourself, in a place of introspection and interaction with more visceral materials you might normally hide from or deny. Later, sinking deep into post party type reflections with “Idiot.” Criticisms of one’s self, poking at the troubles caused by it’s habits and decisions and yet feeling alienated even when alone with your own thoughts. Probably one of the most likable aspects from a sound perspective is the resolve from minor chords to major, and how that feeling resonates with us in a much larger and more analogy rich context. Even if this is vague council, even if this has been covered before, maybe that’s how we get hooked, how we feel so close to Dustin and his demons.
While borrowing from both, as inconvenient as it may be to try and describe, it doesn’t quite fit into either the beachy chord washes or the spacial rhythms of psych, but instead its own cause; a complexity not yet ready to be labeled save for just stating what it does for the listener. Meaning, it comes from a need, a necessity to encapsulate a mood or story, and that is the greatest grab out there because it is a genuinely felt experience rather than a canned one. Read an interview with him and you’ll witness personal accounts of depression and confusion you’d find it hard not to hear yourself recanting in some way, laced with quirky and odd precision which only aid in furthering the relatable qualities of the album. See that he puts out his music through the same process with which we consume it. Late nights, maybe with a drink or two, working on ourselves.