Julia Dawson, a new and upcoming singer, appears to have reached a stage in her career where she writes songs without hesitation or concern, freely expressing her innermost thoughts to a larger audience.
The phrase “I regret being so vulnerable” in the song Where I Go truly reflects the heartfelt and introspective lyrics. The themes of shame, self-doubt, bullying, mental health struggles, self-harm, and overall dysfunction are woven into Dawson’s haunting vocals, adding a touch of sweetness to the pain expressed in lines like “You’re sweet, I’m sick / I hurt myself for kicks” from the song Angel and the brutally honest “I’m buried under blankets, descending into madness” from In My Head.
The first release from the four-piece band from Galway is not a challenging listen. The group’s layers of guitars and vocals incorporate the current interest in shoegaze while also drawing inspiration from the grungy pop of Pixies/Breeders and the melancholic basslines of Cure/New Order. Their youthful enthusiasm and polished production give a modern twist to sounds and styles from 30 years ago. NewDad is unafraid to crank up the guitar volume, but there is a growing pop sensibility in tracks like Angel or the dreamy and catchy choruses of In My Head, reminiscent of Lush. The song Sickly Sweet combines vintage Garbage vibes with lyrics about an addictive romance, resulting in a lively pop creation. Meanwhile, Dream of Me sets up camp on Wolf Alice’s front lawn. Nosebleed’s grandiose soundscapes help solidify their unique musical identity, but it is Dawson’s captivating and emotive vocals that truly stand out as an emerging talent.