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  • David Bentley

Ruben Dawnson – 'FYALMA' (from the EP 'Echo Emotions')

Ruben Dawnson sounds like he could be British but he’s a young Norwegian who explores anxiety, loneliness and fear in his songs while also “coming to have a greater understanding of himself” and even “growing into himself”. It looks as if he attempted to examine every aspect of his psyche on the six-track EP, which is a tall order for anyone.

The EP features previously released singles including this one, ‘FYALMA’, (short for ‘F*** you anxiety, leave me alone’), an anti-anxiety anthem. I’ve avoided ‘I don’t wanna be alone’, which was the pitch, because while he wrote it before lock down became two four-letter words we’ve all had enough of that already.

It’s a catchy little number with a hard, almost punk-like edge. Ruben addresses ‘Anxiety’ like it’s an old friend in the same way Darkness was to Simon and Garfunkel. He should get together with his countrywoman Siv Jakobsen, the Queen of Angst, and write a duet.

Lyrics vary from the impressive (“You feel like everything is good and great/ I see you flexing with your mental state”) to the not so impressive (“I feel like everything is dark and grey/you see my body but not how much I weigh”). Then towards the end Ruben spoils it a little with a f*****g rant, in which the adjective appears eight times in one line after another, the root f*** having already featured four times already. I’m no prude, believe me, but that’s over the top and detracts from the point he’s trying to get across.

He sounds like the New York stockbrokers in Al Murray’s legendary ‘How Global Finance Really Works’ video. Google it.

In the video Ruben is on the run, from something (‘anxiety’ one would assume) or someone, until he eventually tires and throws in the towel, climbing into the back of an estate car, like Paula Radcliffe in Athens. Perhaps he’s the character in Highasakite’s song that hasn’t been seen ‘since last Wednesday’.

But I digress. Not a bad song at all and one that improves with every play and which invites further exploration of the EP.

‘Echo Emotions’ was released on 8th May.

Find him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Ruben Dawnson is included in our brand new Nordic Indie playlist which you can find here on Spotify. Please help support other Nordic artists and us here at NMR by following and liking it.


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