Claire Dickson dares to be dreamy on “phone”

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Claire Dickson does it all on her newest single, “phone,” out tomorrow.

While listening to Claire Dickson‘s music, it’s sometimes difficult to believe that the Brooklyn-based artist is just one person. The singer-songwriter’s newest track “phone” opens with layered voices perfectly harmonizing, something so textured that it feels like only an actual chorus could pull it off. However, the singer-songwriter is just one woman– a highly celebrated, Harvard-educated expert in improv, composition, and production at that, but one woman nonetheless.

“phone” is the first single from the singer-songwriter’s forthcoming, full-length album starland. Though Claire Dickson‘s discography is somewhat sparse, the artist has already begun to develop a signature sound best known for its transcendent smoothness, mostly thanks to her dynamic debut EP Better Strangers. That said, since the project’s release in 2018, her sound has certainly matured.

“phone” has a classic Dickson beginning featuring her vocals only. She sings, “Let me into / Where you belong.” This dreamy and dissonant invitation slowly gathers speed and sound until it reaches the midway point. There, the track explodes into a galaxy of noises. Star-filled synth by Dickson joins complementary guitar from Arlo Sims. The bareness of the opening melts into the middle, ultimately resulting in a delicate product that combines avant-pop, jazz, and electronic music.

From a creative point of view, Dickson‘s work could easily be compared to other monomaniacal figures such as Andy Shauf, an artist whose unilateral control has become a major part of his identity and ultimate success. Plus, through her Ivy League education, she has picked up teachers and mentors such as Vijay Iyer, Claire Chase, and Esperanza Spalding. Clearly, Dickson doesn’t need to reach far for direction or inspiration. Still, there are moments on “‘phone” when Dickson’s unique artistry fights its way through all that– The sound is completely one-of-a-kind, a flash of musicianship that has no comparison. These portions shine most strongly, and hopefully these instances will be dominant on her upcoming album starland.

Pick up “phone” at the link below, premiering exclusively on HighClouds.

Claire Greising