Emotionally complex break-up, break-down ballads may seem like the norm for much of Gen Z, but for artists like Dameer, he feels that things are slightly different. He grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh – one of the world’s most densely populated cities – and has always been acutely aware of his nation’s relatively new beginnings (Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan in 1971). Young nationhood has had an impact on the arts; it is “in some sense radical” for artists to establish a complex, “emotional framework” in current Bangladeshi art, he says.
But here comes his nation’s new indie heartthrob. His debut EP, ‘For We Are Distant’, has all the makings of a key listen for other frustrated Zoomers across the world who are struggling, or indeed, afraid, to lay their emotions bare. These seven-songs are vulnerable and open, and though a teenager singing about falling in and out of love may not seem particularly revolutionary, the execution of these emotions are a delight. For some, they may well be a first.
Despite having now moved to Kuala Lumpur – and recorded some of these songs in Berlin, Germany – these songs retain the intimacy of the bedrooms they were conceived in. On opening song ‘Sun’, he sighs that “this love is exhausting”, but never too loud to arouse suspicion outside his four walls. On the towering ‘Again’, he sounds just as enamoured with the unbridled creativity as he is with love itself: “Everything starts to move/To the sound of my own groove”.
He never strays too far from the love-lorn indie-pop path laid by contemporaries like Boy Pablo, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Mac DeMarco, but there are moments uniquely Dameer. The delightful cacophony of noise that arrives at the end of ‘Keep’ has more in keeping with the murky sonics of King Krule, while his desire to bridge the “East and West” are none more obvious than on the slinky ‘Sun’ and ‘Air’; his is a sound and a love that is only just beginning to blossom.
- Release date: February 26
- Record label: Majestic Casual