The Unique Sound of Douglas Dare
Alexandra Wade - May 19, 2023

Douglas Dare is an artist that creates music for a very niche group of people. His music isn’t something that would necessarily resonate with different types of audiences because of its low and despondent tones. However, the singer and songwriter has many merits to his music that make his music very suitable for the right group of people. The genre that his collection falls under is chamber pop, which mixes in rock music with elements of orchestral and classical music. This leads to the creation of a sound that is both familiar but also very different to what most audiences have consumed before, giving it a sort of uncanny feeling.

There are multiple factors that help the artist create this kind of a tone, one of which is the instruments that are used in his music. Rather than going with the usual mix of guitars, drums, and pianos, he adds violins and cellos to his songs often, which gives them that orchestral and grand feeling. Also, he goes with a more simple equation sometimes and just uses a piano or an acoustic guitar for the more emotional songs, which helps them sound very raw and nostalgic. Isolating certain sounds by simplifying his instrumentals is a technique he uses often, especially in songs like ‘Wherever You Are’ and ‘Caroline’.

Another technique he employs often is that of voice distortion. In songs like ‘Rex’ and ‘Doublethink’, there is a very slow build-up where the instruments come in one at a time, like pieces of a puzzle falling together. In between these, the vocals are added, but they often begin in lower pitches, and are distorted to sound raspy and like he’s singing right next to your ear. This gives the music an especially haunting mood, which is what he’s usually known for, although he’s moved to more hopeful sounds in his latest album: ‘Milkteeth’.

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