THE DAWDLER is the low-key musical alias of Tyneside singer-songwriter John Edgar, who describes himself on his Twitter profile as “Ambient pop. Sad.”
He’s more than made us sit up to attention with the brace of songs he’s released since signing to London indie Akira Records: the heart-wrenchingly sad “Lava Lamps”, about the collection of those trippy lights left behind by a friend who took his own life; and the guitar pop thrill of “Crocodile”.
He’s just gone and made it three in a row with the title track of his first EP for his new home, “Sign Of Growth”, which is out on Akira on November 20th.
It’s another absolute stonker, beginning slowly in clear, pure reverb, exploding in the middle with a complete rush of delicious, overdriven, shoegaze guitar noise. Yr correspondent: sold on that.
The song, he tells us, is inspired by the short film Dear Araucaria, which tells the story of the Guardian’s crossword setter John Graham, and how he let his dedicated cruciverbalist followers know of his impending death through crossword clues – one of them being, ‘sign of growth (6)’. He died of cancer shortly afterwards.
The Dawdler says: “It destroyed me. The way Araucaria connected to his solvers. Deep bonds formed through codes and clues, never having met any of his devotees. It’s just an utterly beautiful story.
“Needless to say, I love crosswords.”
Though the themes of the Sign Of Growth EP cover death, loneliness, grief and alcoholism, permeating it all is The Dawdler’s irrepressible sense of hope.
“I feel happy in my life, I’m in love and I’m comfortable and I have a home. It means I can address things in a more subtle way. I like music where you’re able to form your own meaning”.