From the first track on Dopamine, you would be forgiven for scoffing. Billy Puntton’s crisp lyricism is confronting, but his disengaged instrumentation and his broad, attitude soaked accent separates him from the pack.
The instrumental across the entire EP is harsh and seemingly amateur, but I’m left with a sneaking suspicion that Puntton knows his way around a song a bit better than he lets on.
And that’s the point.
Endearing, raw and at times profound, Billy Puntton and his EP Dopamine are heartfelt, hidden gems just waiting to be unearthed.
Ode To is fast paced and free flying, introducing that gorgeously comforting harmonica. I’m drawn to a piss take of Paul Kelly, Puntton’s Australiana brush has been swept across every track and his furious maturity is guised beneath an ironically adolescent tone.
All this only adds to the record. Once Puntton’s message clicks, his macabre world opens up to you.
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I Wouldn’t Watch a Show That Features War and Child Abuse is dark, but a narrative told in such a way that Puntton’s voice becomes one that you trust.
Bike Stacks & Goon Sacks becomes a favourite, there’s a sweet simplicity to Puntton’s music that I find really engaging. Mirtazapine gets somewhat lost in the fervour for me, just as it had started it ended and I wasn’t hooked.
1996 and Autistic Narcissistic are both seriously vulnerable and packed with defensive blows to his life experience, but instead of coming off as depressing, each track’s catharsis becomes more and more infectious. We do get a vision of a young kid navigating his discoveries, but never alone.
Faberge Egg is romantic and gripping, the female accompaniment darting in and out, a little taste of the narrative at hand. A bold and raw way to finish a record.
Overall Billy Puntton might not be everyone’s cup of tea musically, but as a lyricist he’s built for great things alongside the likes of Will Wagner.
Powerful and unashamed, Dopamine is a brutal poetic purge of adolescent insecurity and triumph, a record definitely worth taking note of.