Winnipeg based singer/songwriter Nic Dyson is no stranger to Manitoba’s music scene. With releases stemming all the way back to 2012, we have finally been gifted with his first full-band, fully produced album, “Figments”. Produced by Jordan Voth, “Figments” is a collection of dreamy acoustic sounds heavily inspired by some of Nic’s favourite artists like The Paper Kites and City and Colour. With original plans to release the album this upcoming summer, the current circumstances regarding COVID-19 pushed him to put it out now, giving anyone in quarantine / self isolation plenty of opportunity to digest and resonate with these songs on their own terms in these trying times.
My initial thought listening to “Figments” was that you’re not just simply “listening” to this release, you really have no choice but to full on absorb it. Song by song, this album effortlessly takes you down many different rivers of emotion, personal reflection and foresight. During Nic’s writing process, it was his target to make songs that told a story of his own, but also allowed his listeners to connect their own dots to his work:
“I tried to create songs that were as poignant as possible, where every line is loaded with meaning, but not enough to flesh out a full picture. My hope is that you take these words and fill in the pictures, scenes, and feelings yourself. I hope you find something within these songs you didn’t know you were missing, and that they grow with you and give you solace in times of need”.
Paired with the lyrical content, the appealing use of rhythmic fingerpicking is just one another noteworthy component to this album that maintained the sound we’ve always known and loved from Nic Dyson. There is also of course no ignoring the flawless harmonies featured in tracks “Misunderstood”, “Sooner or Later”, and “Hung Up to Dry”, which have been beautifully executed by Micaela Chaulk throughout the release. Every element to this release, including the clean use of a ukulele in Track 8, in my opinion made for a perfect, unparalleled expression in showcasing Nic’s vision. I recommend listening to “Figments” in whichever scenario you find to fit you best during this time of isolation and social distancing - whether its on your walk/drive to the grocery store, or without distraction while simply laying in bed staring at the ceiling with headphones in.
Written by Carly Boomer