A little over a week ago I got the pleasure of chatting with Stephen Dawes and found out about his love of Katy Perry, his favourite modern pop artist, during her Teenage Dream era as well as his favourite produce Benny Blanco who produced countless tracks from her. Based on that information alone it was only a matter of time until he put his own stamp on one of her iconic from the 2010s singles that were played on the radio so much you couldn’t escape her hooks and charismatic vocal prowess. However, instead of doing the usual upbeat electronic spin on it, Dawes has slowed it down a touch and transformed Teenage Dream from insatiable pop anthem to a lovelorn ballad that will leave you teary eyed.
It’s hard not to feel loved up as Dawes’ earnest voice delicately floats through the air and into your heart. Almost confessional with his performance, the lyrics take on an entirely different meaning as he artfully creates an intimate atmosphere that brings the emotion to the forefront, as though we’re seeing Dawes at his most vulnerable. A open and honest portrayal of a iconic single, it doesn’t feel like a cover, it feels like a piece of Dawes himself.