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Douglas Dare

British artist Douglas Dare announces the release of his fourth album Omni, which will be released on May 10 via Erased Tapes

Seen by Douglas himself as a bold rebirth and embrace of the electronic, Omni is all at once a throbbing, avant-garde, queer, dark and cinematic record imbued with a love of rave culture and sense of fearless storytelling that’s deeply evocative. 

To mark the announcement, Douglas shares the first taster of the record with Mouth to Mouth, a pulsing, synth-laden track that begs to be played loud. Mouth to Mouth sees a collaboration with label mate Daniel Brandt who appears on production duties, with beats supplied by Rival Consoles. Speaking on the track, Douglas says, “life, death, fate and orgies; this is the heartfelt club track I always wanted to write.”

Since 2013, Douglas has blurred classical, chamber-pop, folk and avant-garde to dazzling effect, with a startling voice that can stop you in your tracks. It’s why he’s played with luminaries like Nils Frahm, Perfume Genius and Ólafur Arnalds, and was selected by David Lynch and The Cure’s Robert Smith for their respective cultural festivals in Manchester (MIF) and London (Meltdown).

But Douglas’s fourth album, Omni, is a fresh awakening. Encouraged by Erased Tapes founder Robert Raths, he decided to step away from acoustic instruments, especially the piano he grew up playing, and swapped them for synths and drum machines.

His new music has much in common with Arca and the late SOPHIE, two artists for whom self-expression meant liberation. “I got to hang out in the studio with her,” says Douglas of the latter musician, “the way she made music made a big impression on me.” And yet Omni is steeped in the kind of deft storytelling, sweeping strings, elegant contrasts and fairytale atmosphere that marks Douglas out as a crucial and singular voice. It’s not often you hear a strutting electro banger that could have been straight out of 90s Soho, with vocal loops inspired by US experimentalist Meredith Monk.

If there was an innocence to his last album, 2020’s acclaimed Milkteeth, with Douglas revisiting his childhood, then Omni sounds like an unburdening – even an unbuttoning. The album’s heady trance and obsidian industrial undercurrents were inspired by the throbbing dance floors Douglas has frequented over the years, from Adonis in London to Berghain in Berlin. “Those clubs are a really important part of becoming who I am now,” he says. “I've always gravitated towards rave music. That’s a part of me that most people don’t know yet.”

Another part is his drag persona. He has always tended to keep it separate from his music, but his performances as ‘Visa’ are a key aspect of who Douglas is as an artist. Drag, he says, “reveals a little bit more of who you are'', as one tries on different looks and songs for size. With Omni, he says, it’s the same idea. He inhabits different characters across the songs, hence the title meaning ‘everyone and everything’. “I guess I've used other people to understand myself,” says Douglas of Omni’s central theme. “It's like I'm trying to find myself in the universe.”

For Douglas, Omni is about reconciling all those different sides of himself — the songwriter, the raver, the lover, the observer. It’s a hugely queer record: seductive, sexy, lusty, untethered from the genre binary. “It’s even got sailors on it!” laughs Douglas. “You don’t get more queer than that.”

Upcoming shows

Date
City
Country
Venue
22/08/2024 Leiria Portugal Extramuralhas 2024
24/09/2024 Copenhagen Denmark VEGA
26/09/2024 Hamburg Germany Nachtasyl
27/09/2024 Berlin Germany KANTINE AM BERGHAIN
29/09/2024 Paris France Supersonic
01/10/2024 Brighton UK Dust
03/10/2024 Manchester UK Pink Room, YES
03/10/2024 Manchester UK Pink Room, YES
04/10/2024 Bristol UK The Lantern, Bristol Beacon
08/10/2024 Glasgow UK The Rum Shack
09/10/2024 Liverpool UK Arts Club, the Loft
16/10/2024 Amsterdam Netherlands Cinetol
17/10/2024 Rotterdam Netherlands Left of the Dial 2024
19/11/2024 Milan Italy ARCI Bellezza
20/11/2024 Bologna Italy Estragon