Oozing all-things Gen-Z, from her DIY sound down to an all-lower-case moniker, dexter presents us with the EP: “Fortune Cookie”.
South London’s songstress is the first signing to RULESTHEWORLD Records – an offshoot of the streetwear brand Corteiz. Her critically acclaimed debut EP, “I Do Love a Good Sandwich” was her first release under the brand’s new label imprint.
From recording tracks on her iPhone during lockdown to supporting Denzel Curry on the UK leg of his tour, if you are not already familiar with the 19-year-old artist, now is the time to get up to speed. The new EP arrives after a series of singles this year, and we gain deeper insight into the musician across each introspective track.
‘Something Real’, the EP’s opener, is a perfect introduction to dexter and her bedroom-pop style. Her confessional tales of teenage angst surf over the dancey beat so aptly. It is clear she extracts from a range of influences, with her garage inspiration most apparent here.
dexter then follows up her opening track with the gently up-beat ‘1day’. Once again, her relatable charm radiates from the songwriting. With a slower tempo intro, sprinkled only with delicate vocal flourishes, we see her straying into indie-pop territory. Then once the hook sets back in, we are back to an alternative electronic sound.
On the pensive ‘Out Of Touch’, we see the singer’s airy vocals slightly distorted. The song, marked by the ability to so easily blend soulful and computerised sonics, grapples with the nuances of loneliness and growing up: “I don't know why/ I've been spending all of my time/ Lying to myself every night/ Saying I don't wanna be alone”.
Picking up the pace with ‘Vexed’, the single's garage rhythms have been crafted to transcend the typical soundscape layered with breaks and spacey synths. Still supplementing the mellow aura of the overall project however, dexter details bittersweet reflections of relationship breakdowns, the anecdotal nature of the lyrics undoubtedly resonating with her audience.
The acoustic guitar-backed ‘Pressure’ is a candid reflection on longing to be “somebody else”. dexter is set apart further from her peers each time she leans into sultry, overwhelming emotion. There is this authenticity that shines through as she gracefully expands the depths of storytelling on this project.
The closing track, ‘Play Pretend’, and my personal favourite, is an undulating wholesome ballad. The accompanying visuals, directed by Lengurz, are steeped in sentimentality. The sweet nostalgic track about saying goodbye to old friends, stands as the ideal signoff as we say goodbye to this EP.
The scope of this project does make it easy to simply get lost in the subdued dulcet melodies at times. The diaristic writing over the six tracks urges us to dig into the deeper parts of ourselves to truly be moved by the emotion. With a newly announced headline show this November, I can only see dexter going on to greater heights.