Jean Dawson, the Tijuana-raised and LA-based artist behind Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week “Clear Bones,” is happy to evade genre. He’s come a long way in the short time since putting out his debut EP Bad Sports in 2019. Now releasing under his own independent label, P+, Dawson gives us “Clear Bones” as the first single ahead of October 2020’s full-length album Pixel Bath. Existential yet optimistic, the song tackles the inevitability of death with the kind of laid back sound and attitude the 25-year-old artist is known for.
In an interview with i.D., Dawson explained, “I’d like to think it’s my way of respectfully acknowledging that my life is on a shot clock. I think the song is somewhat playfully morbid— how life can be. We live and we die and everything in between is simply wishful thinking :)” Drawing on influences ranging from hip-hop to emo to pop, “Clear Bones” sounds simultaneously modern and nostalgic. Its catchy opening bass line and smooth melodies make it an easy listen, despite the rather dark subject matter. The tone is somewhat reminiscent of pop punk, surfy guitar riffs aside. It’s no surprise then that when it comes to genre, Dawson is only really comfortable describing his work as “pop music that’s just not normal,” according to Vice.
“Clear Bones’” macabre lyrics, which directly address the Grim Reaper and frequently talk about the devil, are defiantly relaxed. Lines like “I know I’ll die when it’s my time, I’ll be all smiles, I know” put a uniquely peaceful spin on a difficult topic. It’s clear from the track’s deadpan conclusion, delivered over only the heartbeat of a kick drum, that the up-and-comer’s nonchalant attitude is genuine.
Be sure to tune into 100.1 FM or lightning100.com to hear “Clear Bones” by Jean Dawson featured as Stephanie’s DJ Pick of the Week. Be sure to let us know your thoughts! Tweet at us with #L100DJPick and share your take on the track.