Review: Liv Dawson’s New Single ‘Painkiller’

Liv Dawson Album Image

London based singer/songwriter, Liv Dawson, has been tipped by NME magazine as one of the talents to watch in 2017. She is currently embarking on a headline tour of the UK and has already performed at the Latitude and Wildlife Festival as well as supporting Tom Walker in London. All of these signs point to a very impressive and illustrious future for the young and talented singer who has already racked up millions of Spotify listens for her tracks ‘Reflection’, ‘Somewhere Good’, and ‘Tapestry’.


Her latest offering ‘Painkiller’ is no disappointment. Produced by HONNE, the song starts with a strong beat, coupled with gentle piano chords. Her dulcet tones drift over the track masterfully right from the opening bars of the song. The bass drops in the chorus to reveal a heavier drum and bass rhythm in the vein of artists such as Chase and Status. It’s not hard to identify why Dawson has already worked with the electronic duo Disclosure on her track ‘Searching’ as her vocals manage to hold their own despite the heavy bassline. If ‘Painkiller’ casts any doubts it’s that it sounds so contemporary it may age more easily than some of her previous work, like the ballad ‘Tapestry’ which already feels timeless and classical.


The effortless, soulful strength of her voice is reminiscent of artists like Jessie Ware, and you could be forgiven for thinking she is much older than her 18 years, but the lyrics betray moments of youthful vulnerability. “Every time I drink I pour out my heart” demonstrates the reckless abandon that comes with the overwhelming combination of a serious crush and one too many tequila shots.


Her voice sounds almost ethereal on the line “I know that I will say it again”, and it’s this beautiful vocal and tongue-in-cheek honesty that makes the song so easy to listen to.  “It’s not that hard to text or call”, and the haunting gentle plea of “do you not even care at all” expresses a heartache that feels deeply personal and authentic but also infinitely relatable for every young person who has woken up with a pounding head and felt the sting of phone’s empty inbox confirming unreciprocated affections.


If the ending of the song feels a little abrupt, it at least leaves the listener with a desire for more, and Dawson has definitely shown promise that there is much more to come.

                                                                                                                                  – By Sarah Roberts








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