The world of pop music has always been littered with extravagant, enigmatic and often bizarre characters; after all, such is the warming and welcoming nature of the majority of the people that comprise the popsphere, it is the perfect place for such personalities to dazzle. From Barrett to Bowie, Madonna to Gaga and all in-between, there has never been a shortage of entertainers who have kept the music listening public on the edge of their seats, rubbing their hands gleefully – although with an element of caution – as to what is going to come next.
Mr Bewlay is all of the above. A fantastical artist, he is someone who completely buys into not only the music, but everything that comes with it. Image is everything, but without the music, really, it is nothing. Fortunately, the music stands up and with each release comes, seemingly, more confidence. In what is still a very young career, Mr Bewlay, probably still figuring things out as he makes his way, is making waves and picking up a sizable following in the process.
It is clear that Mr Bewlay has a love for character invention/development/exploration, not least because he goes by the name of Mr Bewlay (a Bowie reference if you’re wondering). Last year he affectionately sang of Juniper, the teen dream queen and here, the protagonist Dan ‘the Don’ Wilson takes centre stage. Admittedly, lyrics deciphering has never been my forte and, despite having the lyrics to hand, I’m not really any wiser, but perhaps that’s the point. He says “…we [he and producer Dai Griffiths] built up this song from fragments and incomplete ideas. I really wanted to convey the stark difference between the commercial instrumentation and the surreal lyrics and I wanted that to be the underlying theme of the track, that of beauty and ugliness”.
Musically, this release is his most left field to date. Built around a synthy riff, it very much has a different feel to his previous offerings, so much that it’s not really identifiable by any specific genre. And that’s the way he wants it; diverse, eclectic and intending to shock and entertain however the way he fancies. That’s Mr Bewlay!
Gavin Facey – 19/03/2021