by Madeleine Chan
Singer-songwriter Desirée Dawson, who is currently residing on the, occupied, traditional, unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations (aka “Vancouver BC”), has released an EP Meet You At The Light. A follow-up to the release of her debut album Wild Heart last year, Meet You At the Light strips her effortless emotion down to its core even further.
A CBC Searchlight contest winner with soul-bearing acoustic music akin to Alessia Cara and I M U R, Dawson creates 20 minutes of utter bliss with this EP. The first track “Intro” submerges you into the environment of the EP with harmonious humming against a backdrop of forest rain.
Title track “Meet You At The Light” follows, and is a clean piano ballad searching for peace with a chorus of harmonies. In an Instagram post, Dawson explained that the song is a reflection on her grandfather’s passing, and even samples sounds from a video of him illuminated by sunlight.
Interludes “Keep Going” and “Stay Open” serve as intermittent affirmations of words sung in other songs with atmospheric, echoey vocals. “Unrequited” touches on the difficulties of navigating love with a plucky ukulele. “Mountain Tops” soulfully begs us to look inside and find what we want with a push from soaring strings and airy vocals, also situating us sonically on a mountain top.
The final track “I Am Here” is when the EP throws its most emotional punch. A repeating chorus of harmonized words like “I forgive myself” and “I’m doing enough” fill the succulent five-and-a-half minutes. After tracks full of lush sounds of nature and instrumental atmosphere, this vocal-forward song is a raw balm that gets right at the core of the EP’s intention for healing.
A work full of reflection on family, love, and self-exploration through the sounds of nature and Dawson’s transcendent voice, Meet You At The Light is a simple slice of serenity.