Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson is nothing short of a force of nature. The English singer and guitarist’s work is deeply rooted in British folk, but as he quips, his approach to the genre is akin to Beefheart's treatment of blues: there is a sympathy for the genre, but also a lot of deconstruction and destruction, which force out unsuspected connections. At the same time, Dawson is still a songwriter; it is just that his songs are full of pauses, detours and twists. At the core of his music, there is an eccentric voice that could as well be carried through time from the Yorkshire hills circa 1500. Dawson's distinctive boisterous, almost bleating delivery can be both buffoonish and poignant, and the same goes for his lyrics, which are at turns playful and dark, often working with a poetics of literal descriptions. Yet despite his unconventional expression and unwavering artistic integrity, his work remains accessible to a fairly wide audience, as evidenced by the fact that ever since 2014's Nothing Important he has been one of the most highly regarded musicians in British media from The Wire to The Guardian, whether the praise was for the quasi-medieval ballads of Peasant (2017) or the sombre pop of 2020. His appearances outside the UK are few and far between, which makes his Czech premiere even more remarkable.