Album: All You Know
Release Date: April 17, 2022
Link to Purchase: https://matthewtavares.bandcamp.com/album/all-you-know
All You Know
First up in my favorite albums of the year is All You Know, the new release from Matthew Tavares (Matty) and Kaan Günesberk (Kaan), known together as Dandelion.
Canada-based Tavares (formerly of BadBadNotGood) is a prolific songwriter and producer having working with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, and James Blake among many others. Also from Canada, Günesberk has a similarly impressive list of songwriting and production credits with artists including Camila Cabello, Mac Miller, and Frank Ocean. This project is their newest collaboration, something they describe on their Bandcamp as "made for ourselves, with love."
As a listener, I can hear and feel this love throughout the album. All You Know is a cozy, nostalgic, reflective listen-through. The textures are dark and warm. Listening to this album makes me feel like I'm getting a big hug while looking out the window on a gloomy, late-Autumn morning. Thoughtful, honest lyrics make each song feel relatable and human.
I love each song on this album, but there are a few standouts to me. The title track, "All You Know," was my second most-listened to song of the year (according to Spotify wrapped). A simplistic one-note melody at the beginning of each verse effectively glides over the shifting harmony below it. I love the subtlety in the changes in phrase length and form between verses. The focus on the main melody note (B) throughout builds tension until it's finally released with the outro at 3:04, my favorite moment of the song. Lyrically, this song to me represents the moments of peace right before spiraling thoughts of anxiety set in and also serves as a reminder that everything will always pass.
Another favorite track is "Butterflies," which, in my interpretation, speaks to the fears that come along with being in love and the negative/obsessive thoughts that can creep in about a partner's past. Musically, this song reminds me of Radiohead's "Pyramid Song." In fact, it's so similar that I wonder if it was a conscious influence for the intro/interlude vocal melody.
Finally, my favorite track on the album was also my most listened-to song of the year. I already spoke about "Sugar" briefly in my post 22 Songs I Loved in 2022. This simple, acoustic song is lush and beautiful. The vocal harmony and higher guitar voicings beginning around 1:30 might be my favorite musical moment of the year. I also love the texture of adding the drums just for the outro and the gentle, breathy vocals which delivery the wistful lyrics perfectly.
I also briefly referenced this in an earlier post, but I urge everyone (especially artists) to check out the creative mantras that Tavares posted on his Instagram earlier this year: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg44vUZp5ph/?hl=en I have found these mantras to be incredibly helpful to return to during moments of self-doubt and burnout.
All You Know is a top album of the year for me, and one I'll continue to listen to for years to come. I hope you enjoy it as I much as I do. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Also, as always, please remember to purchase the album through the link above to support these wonderful musicians.