Mystery in art has many advantages. And knowing how to do it well is also an art. There are global cases, famous and present, such as Banksy and, on a less stratospheric level, and only in music, the Sault. British musical culture is uniquely eager to create these imaginaries, disseminate them and make them universal at a healthy pace. It also works on the fringes, whether you think of Dean Blunt or the now defunct – is that right? – Hype Williams, the projects he signs and how he edits some of the albums, or the World Music Group Label, from which bar italia and Joanne Robertson came out, who have visited this house in the recent past. This is in relation to a name that surrounds Dean Blunt, mark william lewis. There is little information about the musician online, either due to discretion or marketing. Listening has that effect that things around Dean Blunt sometimes provoke: it could be him in a moment of experimentation.
But it’s not. However, Lewis seems to have emerged from the “Black Album” laboratory because of the way the London singer-songwriter writes songs that blend genres, between pop vigour, cheesy soul and allusions to jazz. It’s more the first impact, the feeling of similar virtues. Nothing strange to what is happening in British music today, Lewis is in line with his contemporaries and fellow countrymen Tone or Coby Sey in this search for a new song that serves the times and the tools of today. The difference is in the tone, in the work already released, whether on the EPs “Pleasure Is Everything” or “God Complex”, or on the full-length released at the beginning of 2023 “Living”, lewis’ music exists on the constant thread of something to break. mark william lewis fascinates because he convinces, or accepts, that the colours outside have changed and we have to know how to live and write about it. We can’t be sure how the artist experiences this world, but we do know how he writes it, or rather describes it in his songs. lewis exudes relational disconnection, discomfort in touch, our obsessive compulsive behaviours triggered by our fixation with the self, perfection and the desire for the game to be played by our rules. He sings of vague experiences that linger in the present, opening wounds rather than closing them. mark william lewis doesn’t seek comfort, but confrontation. With himself, with demons, with the world. This is the song we need for the near future. AS