29 May 2024
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Elliott Dawson

Bio

Elliott Dawson was born and raised in Kirikiriroa, before making the move to Poneke in 2016. He has been releasing and performing original music since his Waikato high-school days under a variety of different monikers, but is best known for his work with guitar-pop foursome Doons, a staple of the Poneke indie scene since 2018, beloved by SRN audiences.

Under Doons, Elliott toured Aotearoa, and released two well-received EPs, the later of which, The Importance of Being Indifferent, achieving a combined 35k Spotify streams. Under the Radar described their later EP as featuring “guitars as sparkling as the waters at Oriental Bay Beach on a good day and big-hearted yet relatable world-weary lyrics...”. Oli Cheyne of Salient Magazine also heaped praise on the foursome, stating “the songs of Importance [are] cathartic to hear as complete pieces, played with an emotion that is rarely matched”.

Their singles Shallows and 2 Sides, charted in the top three of the Student Radio Network’s Top 10 chart. Their high-energy live show was welcomed alongside acts such as Rikki Reid, Ha the Unclear, Dartz, Hot Donnas, and warranted a set on Rhythm and Vines’ iconic Garden Stage. More recently, Elliott has honed his indie experience as lead guitarist and backing vocalist in rising-band Wiri Donna, Poneke’s indie-riff-rock darling, also beloved by SRN audiences across the motu.

After deciding to step out from the guise of high-energy indie rock into a different space, Elliott has written and produced his debut solo album, titled Hang Low. The album delicately charts Dawson’s renegotiation of his relationship to masculinity, youth, and substance abuse. Sonically ambitious and genre-defiant, it is an 8-track chapter of a singular mind; representing a kind of coming of age for Dawson.

Hang Low was written in late 2020/early 2021, recorded at Lee Prebble’s Newtown Surgery Studio in December 2021, and is engineered and mixed by Aotearoa’s stalwart and resident wizard James Goldsmith (Mermaidens, Earth Tongue, Sheep Dog & Wolf, Aldous Harding - to name a few). It features a band of Poneke’s finest musicians - Olivia Campion (Yumi Zouma, Revulva, Mystery Waitress), Lily Rose Shaw (Revulva, Dawn Diver, The Gallery), Reuben Topzand (Neil Macleod, ZÖ) and Pierce Higginson (Doons, Solomon Crook).

Hang Low is a record of rebirth. It’s something that I tried to make sound jarring and pretty at the same time, drawing on my experience of heavier music, within the context of the jazz musicians in the band.

The eight-track album is scheduled for release on the 2nd of September, following the delivery of singles CEO, Winter’s Ghost and Bald Spot.

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Location

  • Wellington


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