Daggy Man pushes boundaries with “A Reliable Figure,” and the result is both a visual and auditory experience of pure splendor.
How does one identify themself? What words can be used to capture a whole person, especially after they have passed? Language is at the core of these questions, potentially leading to the identities that could lead one to strife or mirth. There is always an idea of who one is, but there is also the dream of who one wants to be. Thomas Calder shares in this frustration, having spent much time ruminating on this exact subject and pinning down who exactly he is. He found his answer, and with his musical outlet of Daggy Man, he has unveiled his conclusion: ”A Reliable Figure.”
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “A Reliable Figure” along with its accompanying music video. It’s a song that, through the use of deconstruction and hypnotic melodies, expresses the revelations Calder has reached in a stirring manner that stretches beyond auditory grandeur but into the visual as well. Serving as the third single on Daggy Man’s upcoming album Yawn (releasing early 2020), the song explores identity and the search for it. It’s often an anxiety-inducing experience, and Yawn is a journey into those emotions, each track telling a new story. “A Reliable Figure” is proving to be one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Address my language to the speaker,
As I describe what I have seen.
And from objective stance position,
Appraise the aspect of my being.
The song opens with the ethereal-like vocals from Calder which are soon joined by evocative piano chords. It doesn’t take much time for Calder to create a space of harmony, and it only grows from there as steady drum beats enter the mix that pushes forward the narrative and sound into a bustling atmosphere of electronics and synths. The melody is at points chaotic and raw, but the song never fails to lose its structure. As the song progresses, more instrumentation is unveiled that leads to rhythms of intensity, producing a soundscape that will have listeners hard-pressed not to be enraptured by. Near the track’s end, listeners begin their descent from the dreamscape the song sent them to, one in which one feels as if they are floating above themselves. A subtle yet enthralling finish.
Is it that language shapes existence,
As it relates to what I mean?
I dream of being seen.
There is a calm before the storm with the song, and that feeling is translated into the visual in a perfect and visceral manner, not once losing any of the qualities of the song while only accentuating it. “The film clip is essentially an abstract, chaotic rumination on the inner dialogue of the mind and exterior landscapes of the body,” explains Calder to Atwood Magazine. “I was interested in creating distorted angles and images in the form of self-portraiture, and drawn to the idea of using my body to create shadows and shapes that evoke spaces and terrain, like landscapes.”
Want someone to say to me;
“Oh my goodness you are everything I ever wanted you to be.”
I discovered recently,
If I’m to be
A sentence in the end,
I wish to be the kind that ends in
“A Reliable figure”
Or “Someone that’ll be there for you”.
Someone that you could call a friend
In the end
It’s a lush and untamed presentation, capturing the anxiety inside Calder himself. The hand-drawn aspects are an extra layer of depth to the video that elicits feelings of euphoria. As Calder further details, “I also wanted to push myself technically and creatively and hand-drawn animation, which is new to me, seemed like the perfect medium to balance out the stark photographic imagery with something more organic and tangible. The process taught me a lot about patience and the end result is something I’m incredibly proud of.”
In the corner sit
Where the knowledge is.
And I entertain myself,
When l I feel the social aspect wanting.
In the presence of myself,
Write a book called let’s go
Some title I’ve never read
“A Reliable Figure” is a vibrant, evocative, and heartrending showcasing of personal troubles and the path to overcoming them. Boundary pushing is at the core of the song, and it’s done so in a gorgeous, exhilarating fashion. It’s a song that will leave hearts heavy and eyes water-filled, but despite that, it’s also a song that one cannot help but continuously play again and again, and its accompanying music video only strengthens that effect.
Watch: “A Reliable Figure” – Daggy Man
📸 © Thomas Calder
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