Arts & Entertainment

Dominic Breen finds power in admitting vulnerability on debut album

BY TESSA PELLE

Achingly tender and raw, Dominic Breen’s debut album Blue Volume is a cinematic experience that tells of mid 20’s angst, love and heartbreak.

Written before the global pandemic had begun, Blue Volume encapsulates universal feelings of isolation and connectedness amongst the uncertainty of young adulthood.

“It is kind of weird now that COVID has happened because these songs, I think a lot of them are written from an isolated place… I think there’s some sort of reaching out for connection element to a lot of them,” he says. “COVID has kind of put a new spin on them to me. It’s weird, it’s like this deathly pandemic has breathed a new, different and strange life into these songs.”

The emerging Inner West singer songwriter expertly crafts an experience for his listeners that is relatable and honest. Sweeping sounds and perfect harmonies construct the contrasting themes at the core of Breen’s work: melancholia and bliss.

“Once you get the bug for songwriting it kind of just follows you around in a way, if you’re lucky.”

Having gained traction on Triple J’s Unearthed with acclaimed singles, James St Tonight and Under Your Sorrowthe ten-track album showcases Breen’s musical flair and undeniable songwriting talent.

“Sometimes I think you just end up falling into things in a way… I had a couple of head knocks when I was a kid so had to go away from school for a bit, so I think probably around that time I started being all moody and introspective and starting playing music from there,” he says referring to the multiple concussions he encountered playing junior rugby.

Breen and Tim Fitz (Middle Kids) performed all instruments heard on the album. Breen says the instrumentation mixes folk centric and My Bloody Valentine-esque sounds with “screeching guitars from bands like that blended with old school, traditionalsounding folk singers” he says.  

“My songwriting comes from more of a traditional sense, like Irish folk music and Australian and American folk music… a lot of [Blue Volume’s] sound has a lot to do with co-producing with Tim Fitz. We wanted to sort of invert that traditional songwriting thing, we didn’t want it to sound like hillbilly ballads, you know,” Breen says.

After the delay of its initial release, Breen is proud to speak his truth and provide something to listeners only music can give.

“I just hope whoever’s listening can find a little bit of themselves in the songs. In a sense,they’re very personal but I kind of hope that there’s something of everyone in the songs, and that’s a very big ask of course,” he says.

If a listener takes anything away from it, I’m happy. If it provokes any thought at all, I think in a way that thought would be true.”

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