Certain words often beg the question as to how they came into being. Among them is Doublethink, a word which doesn’t produce a red squiggly underline as I type this thanks to George Orwell’s staggering influence.
Inspired by the Orwellian classic, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where this term first appeared – along with other cult phrases such as Room 101 and Big Brother – Douglas Dare’s newest song ‘Doublethink’ tackles the question of reality and our control over it. The track is led by the distant call of a horn and the quiet simplicity of the piano, before Douglas Dare’s piercing voice makes itself heard over melancholic chords and a clunky beat. “Ignorance is my bliss / don’t want to fall out of this / freedom is slavery / my mind will never help me” he sings in a stirring chorus, the lyrics reflecting the apparent safety that lies in the unknown.
The larger concept for the single is laid out on the table by Dare. “After finding out my boyfriend had been leading this double-life, I became obsessed with the question of what is real and George Orwell’s 1984 felt appropriate for me to re-read. Orwell explains this idea of reality control and Doublethink, and it struck a chord with me. The idea that the truth can be steered or changed, and we might be able to believe two contradictory things at once. In my case, ignorance was my protection from the truth and ignorance really is bliss, until you’re no longer ignorant.”
‘Doublethink’ comes off Dare’s upcoming album Aforger, which deals with similarly personal themes, revealing a wholly vulnerable side to the London singer-songwriter and pianist. “Prior to writing the record, I came out to my father and came out of a long relationship, both were hugely challenging for me and questioned my idea of identity and reality. These thoughts leaked out into the record and formed the core of Aforger. I was determined not to write a break-up album or repeat what I’d done before.”
His projection soft but clear, and his ideas complex yet undeniably relevant, Douglas Dare’s talent is as multi-faceted as Orwell’s Doublethink theory. Keep a watchful eye on this one.
Pre-order Aforger here, out October 16th via Erased Tapes.