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Quake Matthews’ Celebrate The Struggle album debuts in Top 5 of iTunes hip-hop chart

Quake Matthews’ Celebrate The Struggle album debuts in Top 5 of iTunes hip-hop chart

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Dave Fields drops some introspective self-analysis on new album Neck Deep

Vancouver, BC – It takes a lot of courage to release music to any type of audience, regardless of the genre of music. We always review submissions with the knowledge that we’re judging and speaking on some of the most personal self-analysis and expressions of the artists who submit them.

Recent Vancity transplant (via Toronto), Dave Fields, dropped his newest album, titled Neck Deep and produced a great example of someone getting real with it. The whole project was a bit of a curveball from the norm, and proceeds to touch on some really heavy topics. But, Mr. Fields does it in a way that doesn’t scare off the listeners by being too confrontational. Rather, he attempts to mimick his own internal conversations and takes the audience along for the ride as secondary listeners throughout the 9-track project. The whole album has a diary effect, and it’s almost like he’s speaking to his own conscience rather than directly to the audience. I personally like this style a lot more. It leaves room for personal interpretation and individual realizations rather than a take it or leave it resolve which doesn’t always invite you to become active in the experience.

Dave Fields drops some introspective self-analysis on new album

For those who aren’t familar, Dave Fields is a new to Vancity artist who has teamed up with local artists Jaykin and Seth Kay, most recently. A true Canadian, he spent most of his childhood growing up in Ontario before making his way over to Vancouver, where he’s been perfecting his debut album for the last year. The attention to detail, and year-long fine tuning was the first thing I heard in the 9 tracks.

Personal favourites on this album were “Rain in Vancouver”, “Died and Gone to Heaven”, and “Treatment”. Ironically, these are also the tracks that have been received by fans the most successfully as well. “Rain in Vancouver” is a somber and self-analytical track which speaks on the overwhelming weight from the struggles of life and success. Lyrics like, “Everybody got their thing going off, feel like I’m the only who isn’t going strong / I’ve been trying, I’ve been treading, I’ve been trekking / Seems like I’ve been everything but getting / Just tryna’ pull my weight but this is dragging” express Fields’ self doubt as bluntly as he possibly could. This brash honesty is what makes it so interesting to listen to. He doesn’t stray away from speaking on the lows. He drops some lines about what he’s going through, and leaves the rest for the audience to take it as they wish to.

“Died and Gone to Heaven” is an even stronger introspective conversation about perception, and the desire to be accepted. The bars are equally as critical when he raps, “Why is everybody talking bout me like I’ve died and gone to heaven? / The only thing I really want to do while I am living is just make a good impression / Feeling like a lost cause / If I don’t ever make it I’ll just be a lost a cause.” The beat on this track is haunting, and leads into some catchy bar-work by Fields that makes it the hardest hitting track in my opinion (and also my favourite).

But, “Treatment” is the track of the album that you could say is the climax of his personal revelations. He raps “I still remember that evening, when I went off the deep-end / Gotta hit the celly to Susan and get me some treatment,” –  It takes some metaphorical balls to face your own demons (especially of that magnitude) and Dave Fields brought them straight to his album to share with us.

There’s something honourable to be said for artists that reach out to their audience to speak about their own personal vulnerability. Furthermore, there’s a connection that is established as a result of this fearlessness that only comes from showing up with that degree of honest intention. The album is vulnerable in all the right ways, and it hits you with serious, but relatable subject matter. Even though individual listeners may not be able relate to each particular circumstance, he manages to tie his personal struggles into larger themes like acceptance, and self-doubt. For these reasons, I feel like he’s created a project that will be comfortably received by fans, but more importantly is going to solidify respect for him as an artist.

You can download the album from Soundcloud, and check it out below.

Review by Kira Hunston for HipHopCanada

 


Twitter: @dvflds

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