What did you do in high school? I spent most of it partying, fully involved in the silly social drama of my school… what a time. Massachusetts native Stephen Dawes spent most of his high school experience as the pianist in Jazz Band, where he would develop his love for music theory. This would lead him to attend the Clive Davis Institute in New York City post-graduation, where he resides today. He writes, performs, and produces all of his records himself, oh, and have I mentioned they are outright astonishing?
Today I highlight Stephen’s newest release, Losing You, a song that calls Spotify’s ‘New Pop Picks‘ home. This discovery reminds me of when I found Dayglow & Wallows… it’s a song that just begs to be played at full blast while you fly down the coast in a convertible with the top down. The lyrics and vocals alike are astounding, but what really takes me away is the guitar in this track, which is flawlessly played. Right after the chorus, there are these sections where the guitar just swoops in and takes you away. It seems like every chord in this melody was precisely chosen, it’s no coincidence, this had to have been calculated. If you still aren’t convinced Stephen is a music theory wizard after listening to this track, ask him what his favorite part of the song is, to which he will reply, “My favorite part of Losing You takes place right before the guitar solo. There is chord change between a ii minor chord and iv parallel minor chord, which is non-diatonic, and it creates this great release of tension.”
Well, it seems his hard work in the studio paid off with this one. After gaining hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok, the song is finally out and has amassed over 50,000 streams in a matter of a couple of days.